The role of Peacekeeper is most useful in large groups or when very touchy, controversial topics are being discussed. A person who is willing to remain somewhat aloof and is not personally invested in the content of the discussion would be a good candidate for Peacekeeper. This person is selected without discussion by all present at the beginning of the Meeting. If no one wants this role, or if no one can be selected without objection, proceed without one, recognizing that the Facilitator's job will most likely be more difficult.
This task entails paying attention to the overall mood or tone of the Meeting. When tensions increase dramatically and angers flare out of control, the Peacekeeper interrupts briefly to remind the group of its common goals and commitment to Cooperation. The most common way to accomplish this is a call for a few moments of silence.
The Peacekeeper is the only person with prior permission to interrupt a speaker or speak or speak without first being recognized by the Facilitator. Also, it is important to note that the Peacekeeper's comments are always directed at the whole group, never at one individual or small group within the larger group. Keep comments short and to the point.
The Peacekeeper may always, of course, point out when the group did something well. People always like to be acknowledged for positive behavior.
Sources: On Conflict & Consensus
Contributors: Amy Rothstein, C.T. Butler
Recommended Books: On Conflict & Consensus