ADR stands for
"Alternative Dispute Resolution", which refers to a
variety of ways to resolve disputes other than
through litigation or formal
grievances. Conflicts occurring between people or
companies are far more likely to successfully
resolve their disputes through some form of ADR.
website already deals a lot with arbitration and
mediation, two of the better known ADR methods.
However there are other options available in
the ADR spectrum. They include negotiation, conflict
coaching, consensus decision making and restorative
processes give disputing parties control over the
processes leads to the resolution of their dispute.
This increases the likelihood of success. When
parties agree on a settlement, it generally means
the solution will be more durable and sustainable
since there is a mutual buy-in - hence the desire to
make it work.
Some of the ADR
processes go beyond just helping resolve disputes
and are actually used in dispute prevention.
Teaching people ways to manage conflict can prevent
many serious disputes. There are many conflict
management tools that can be learned in order to
deal with difficult situations and prevent them from
escalating. There are also many qualified and
experienced conflict management and conflict
communications instructors throughout Alberta who
are ready and willing to offer such expertise.
actually any process where there is discussion to
resolve a disagreement or conflict. Discussions may
be quite informal or may involve attorneys
or advocates who talk on behalf of each party. The
problem is that most people don't really know how to
negotiate; and their attempts often become
arguments. Negotiation is a highly advanced skill.
Therefore each party may take negotiation training
or hire a negotiator (other than their own legal
counsel) to represent them in the negotiation.
There are many
styles of negotiation and many negotiation tools
that are readily available. While many negotiations
are between two people or two organizations, there
are also many "multi-party" negotiations involving
three or more parties. These can become complicated
as people begin to confuse the needs and wants of
the different parties, as well as the negotiating
style of each individual. Often a facilitator is
used to keep discussions orderly and to track the
changing positions of the parties.
simple terms, is the process of designing
and conducting a productive meeting, usually with
the help of a trained and impartial
facilitator. Facilitation is a process tool that
addresses the requirements of any group that is
meeting for a common goal, whether it be arriving
at a decision, planning an event, resolving a
problem, or simply brainstorming a for a project so
that ideas and information can be exchanged.
not "lead" the groups they facilitate, nor do they
take sides or encourage one idea over another.
Rather, a facilitator participates in guiding a
group toward arriving at a consensus.
Setting parameters and
agreeing on some ground rules are key to
the facilitation process. This is especially important
in meetings over difficult or contentious issues, or
where some of the parties may be overly vocal - or even
belligerent. A good facilitator ensures all meeting
participants understand the rules and parameters of the
meeting and then responsibly and fairly enforces those
rules of engagement so that all parties have meaningful
Conflict Coaching is an individualized process
designed specifically to help clients effectively
engage in conflict. The goal of conflict coaching is
to prevent unnecessary disputes and to help clients
resolve issues that do arise in a positive manner by
increasing their conflict resolving capabilities.
People deal with conflict in many ways, ranging from
avoidance to winning at the expense of others.
Conflict coaches help clients determine the best
approach to deal with conflict in any number of
situations, and with any number of others who have
different ways of managing conflict. They also deal
with behaviors that get in the way of a
collaborative resolution. Conflict coaches assist
clients in setting goals and action plans for
managing conflict more effectively. Coaches might
teach clients ways of speaking to maximize
productive conversations or help them develop
interaction skills and strategies.
Restorative Practices create a safe and structured
environment for meetings between offenders, victims
and both partiesí family, friends or colleagues.
Here they deal with the consequences of the crime or
wrongdoing and together determine how to best repair
the damage. Restorative Practices are not counseling
or mediation. They are victim-sensitive,
straightforward processes that help put right what
has been made wrong, and address harm in a way that
honors the worth of everyone.
Consensus Decision Making
In consensus decision making (CDM) people with
diverse interests agree to work together to find
solutions to challenging problems. Fundamental to
this process is that all parties agree to work
collaboratively to find solutions in the best
interests of all. An implicit benefit of the
consensus process is that mutual understanding and
respect develop as people jointly search for the
best solutions. Participants work together, getting
tough on the problem rather than getting tough with
each other. They rely on the collective experience
and knowledge of the group. The results are high
quality decisions that last longer than decisions
made by one party and are more easily implemented
because all participating stakeholders agree with
them.A CDM process ensures that power is balanced
and that the will of the majority is not imposed on
the minority, and that a radical minority does not
dominate. Participants examine their own interests,
share them with the others, and are open to all
possible options that could meet those interests.
The mediator may
be the neutral person contacting the other party or
parties to arrange for an introductory meeting.
instructs the parties about the mediation process,
issues that can be addressed, options and principles
that may be considered and how to get the most out
ensures that all parties are fully heard and have
had every opportunity to explain their side of the
The mediator will
sometimes assist in the discussions by rephrasing or
reframing communications so that they are better
understood and received.
The mediator will
ask probing questions and clarify statements so that
all the participants have a full and accurate
The mediator is
also there to ensure that lively and sometimes
intense discussions donít become arguments.
Mediators are trained to de-escalate conflict.
suggests various procedures for making progress or
furthering discussions. If negotiations are getting
bogged down or becoming unproductive, the mediator
may quickly choose another process which may include
options such as caucus meetings, consultations with
substantive experts or restorative practices.
The mediator may
exercise his or her discretion to play devil's
advocate with one or both parties as to the
practicality of solutions they are considering or
the extent to which certain options are consistent
with participants' stated goals, interests and
The mediator will
often stimulate the conversation by offering new
perspectives and presenting alternative reference
points for consideration to help parties reach an
documents all important data and necessary
information, writes up the parties' agreement, and
may mp out a process to help the parties implement