Alternative Dispute Resolution
“In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity.”
Mediation is a process where parties to a dispute meet with a court-appointed or mutually-agreed-upon neutral, who helps the parties negotiate. Mediation is voluntary, consensual, and confidential. The mediator does not make any decisions or provide any opinions on the outcome of a case if it were litigated. The mediator helps the parties understand their own and the opposing side’s interests, to help them reach a negotiated resolution.
Arbitration is a process where a court-appointed or mutually-agreed-upon private neutral makes an award based on evidence and argument presented by both sides in a dispute. Arbitration can be binding, if previously agreed-upon in a contract between the disputing parties, or non-binding, if ordered to be conducted by a court. Even if arbitration is ordered by a court, the parties can still choose their own arbitrator, who will conduct a hearing and issue an award that will become the final judgment of the court if uncontested by the parties.
Conflict Assessments and System Design
“The most challenging aspect of the problems we face is not finding solutions for them, which in most cases we can do relatively easily, but maximizing our opportunities to learn from and transcend them.”
Kenneth Cloke & Joan Goldsmith, THE ART OF WAKING PEOPLE UP: CULTIVATING AWARENESS AND AUTHENTICITY AT WORK (2003).
Conflict Assessments begin with interviews with employees at all levels to determine the sources of and manifestations of conflict in an organization. Our assessments include observations of the organization’s work, to understand the culture of the organization and to identify opportunities to enhance an organization’s conflict competence. We help organizations understand the costs of unhealthy conflict cultures, such as employee attrition, wasted time, and lost opportunities, and develop programs to empower the organization to address current conflicts and navigate or prevent future conflicts.
Workplace mediation can help resolve existing disputes between employees, employees and managers, or any other co-worker relationship. It can also include follow-up to ensure continuing resolution.
An ombudsperson is independent, neutral, confidential, and informal, and can be a helpful tool for any employee dealing with issues in an organization. They provide a safe space for employees to resolve conflicts without costly legal intervention. They also provide key information for organization regarding trends that can and should be addressed before they become larger issues. Although ombuds are not strictly “revenue generators,” research has shown that, on average, organizations get an $11 return on every dollar they spend for the cost for an organizational ombuds. Our contract ombuds follow the IOA Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics.
We provide leadership coaching at all levels of an organization. Our coaching helps leaders identify and handle conflicts they encounter, including their internal conflicts and conflict with and between those they lead. Our coaching is personalized to address the goals of the leader and their organization. We work with the leader to assess their personality strengths and challenges, to help them reach their full potential.
Mentorship Program Design
Mentorship programs are essential for organizations to grow and prosper. They benefit both the mentors and the mentees. We help organizations develop the most effective mentorship programs or modify their existing programs to maximize the benefits, both to the participants and the organization at large.
Mentorship Training and Support
In addition to designing mentorship programs, we provide training and support to participants to set them up for success. We provide group classes or individualized training in the skills necessary for both mentors and mentees to utilize the mentorship program of any organization to the fullest.
Conflict coaching enables leaders and team members to handle conflicts through self-examination, self-discovery, perspective-taking, and skill development. This sort of coaching goes beyond any given dispute, providing tools for our clients to use in all aspects of their lives in the future.