“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 mayor’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. 

Image this or a similar situation in your culture. Your task is to resolve the dispute. What would be your approach? Describe the steps, their sequence, and what is critical to success.

“Turn down that noise!”