“Turn down that noise!” 

Our courts in the U.S. are so full of disputes between neighbors that community mediators are being asked to resolve the conflicts. A member of the major’s staff in your town has asked you to get involved. 

You’ve lived in the town for many years, are respected and involved in various activities. You go through the two-day training, then are given your first case. Apparently, the teenaged Johnson boys and their heavy metal rock band have been hitting ever higher decibel levels in their basement studio.

Louise (63) and Richard Moser (65), next door neighbors to the Johnsons, have called the police a half dozen times and are threatening now with a lawyer. It’s a nice neighborhood. Folks get along fairly well. The Johnson boys are good kids, but a bit high-energy. Their parents, both working, are busy. Maybe they don’t have their boys under control. Who knows? The Mosers, solid citizens even if at times overly critical, moved into one of the first homes on the block decades ago and raised three children of their own. The Johnsons moved in just a few years ago. 

You are American. Your task is to resolve this dispute. What will be your approach? Describe the steps, their sequence, what is critical to success.

You are German. How would such a conflict be resolved in the German context? Describe thesteps, their sequence, what is critical to success.

If you are neither American nor German, what would the conflict resolution process look like in your culture?

“Turn down that noise!”