Whenever possible, when a member has a conflict or disagreement with another person, the first and best option is to calmly, rationally, objectively, and with mutual respect and concern, approach that person and seek to arrive at a peaceful and mutually-acceptable resolution.
If the above is not an acceptable option, or if the member is at odds with more than one person, the member should speak to the guild leader and/or one or more council members about the situation. The guild leader and council members have an open-door policy. Members can--and are encouraged to--discuss anything with the leader and council members at any time. Members are strongly discouraged from airing their dissatisfaction(s) with multiple uninvolved parties instead of addressing the issue(s) with the involved party/parties, guild leader, and/or council members.
If the issue can be resolved during the discussion with the guild leader and/or one or more council members, then the matter will be considered closed with no need for further action. If the conversation is relevant to guild business, its content will be communicated to the guild leader if necessary and possibly to any council members who were not present for the discussion.
If the issue cannot be resolved by either of the above methods, it will be presented--by the member or by the guild leader and/or council member(s) to whom the member spoke--to the guild leader and council. The guild leader and council will discuss how to proceed.
After deciding on a course of action, the guild leader and council will typically inform the member who brought the issue to the guild leader and council of the decided-upon course of action, provided the member wasn't present for the decision-making discussion.
Usual possible courses of action for one-time issues, first-time violations of guild values and/or policies, minor disagreements, etc. include:
The guild leader or a council member discussing the issue with the person/people at its root and seeking a resolution; follow-up discussions may occur as needed
The guild leader and/or a number of council members (generally no more than 3 total) facilitating a discussion between the two parties
The guild leader and/or a number of council members arbitrating the conflict
The guild leader or his or her council delegate communicating the issue to the person/people at its root and giving them notice of an official warning
Any second occurrence of the same issue by the same person/people within three months of the first instance will typically result in a warning being issued if one is not currently in effect.
In serious cases, the grievance process may be initiated immediately without first going through the conflict resolution process.
Upon issuance of a first warning, a joint effort will be made to find possible resolutions to the issue. The recipient(s) of the warning are expected to implement the agreed-upon resolution plan(s). Except in serious cases, no more than one warning per month will be given to the same person regarding the same issue; change takes time.
If two warnings are issued to a person for the same issue within a three-month period, a formal and mandatory plan for improvement will be drafted. The affected member(s) will meet with the guild leader and/or one or more council members at regular, pre-determined intervals to review progress.
If three successive warnings are given to a person for the same issue, if the recipient of two warnings refuses to implement the improvement plan, or if the same person receives three warnings for different issues within one month, the grievance process will most likely be initiated.