Login | Contact

The Conflict Pivot: Turning Conflict into Peace of Mind



tammy-lenskizena ZumetaTracy CulbreathIf you’ve been told not to take conflict personally, you only have half the story. Before you can do that, you have to take conflict more personally. In this program, Tammy Lenski, author of The Conflict Pivot: Turning Conflict into Peace of Mind, will discuss three simple practices you can do on your own, anytime and anywhere, to avoid the most common conflict resolution mistakes, understand why certain conflicts get their hooks into you, and figure out how to liberate yourself.

Read, Listen, Share »

Leave a Reply


Back to the Basics: What is Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)?

Yvette WatsonADR is a method of resolving disputes without going through the litigation process. Litigation can become costly and very time consuming. Litigation has a negative connotation and can be a result of permanently damaging friendships or partnerships, ruined reputations, and even financial catastrophes. ADR has been around for decades and the processes are used to resolve conflicts in a more cost effective and timely manner. The advantages of using ADR processes to resolve disputes can be:

• Cost effective
• Time Saving
• Participant’s control in an ADR process
• Creative outcomes save relationships
• Confidential

While there are several ADR processes this post will only discuss arbitration, mediation, and negotiation. Some of these processes involve a neutral-third party’s assistance in resolving a dispute whereas others rely on the parties themselves.

Arbitration involves two sides presenting their dispute to a neutral third party (arbitrator) who decides the final outcome. If the parties agreed to a binding arbitration the arbiters ruling is final with little to no chance of an appeal. Arbitration is appropriate when the parties do not want to make the final decision themselves. Parties have little control of the process and relinquish decision-making to the arbitrator.

Mediation is a voluntary process by which a neutral third party (mediator) assists 2 or more individuals in discussing the issues and formulating a mutual agreement. The mediator is bound by confidentiality and leaves the decision-making in the hands of the disputants. Mediation is appropriate when parties want to preserve the relationship, reputation and want more control of the outcome and process.

Negotiation is a direct discussion between parties to resolve the dispute themselves. The discussion involves both parties bargaining for their needs and interests to achieve their goals. Depending on their approach, the outcome can either be a collaborative win-win outcome or a competitive win-lose situation

When ADR is/is not Appropriate?

Not all disputes can or should be resolved through ADR. It is my opinion that ADR is not an appropriate avenue for domestic violence or child endangerment disputes because of the severity of the cases. If not handled properly, these situations can result in violence, unequal distribution of power, or even death. These cases should be handled through the court system. ADR can be used if the parties want to retain their current relationship, trust between the parties is low, a new perspective is needed, etc. Not sure if your case is ADR appropriate check out FERC.gov – Is ADR Appropriate for My Dispute?

Need Additional Information?

Refer to the Frequently Asked Questions section of the National Arbitration Forum website for arbitration and mediation. Beyond Intractability has a informative article on negotiation. As always, check out our Podcast Directory for episodes on mediation and arbitration at The Texas Conflict Coach.

By Yvette Watson Jenkins
Graduate Student, University of Baltimore – Negotiation and Conflict Management Program

Leave a Reply


The Power is YOURS

When parties are involved in conflict knowledge is power. You may ask, what do I mean by that? By being aware of the various resources and tools that are available, I am better equip to navigate through the conflict process. In my previous blog, Conflict is an Opportunity I addressed the three stages of conflict: before, during, and after. I discussed a conflict that I had with a colleague regarding an e-mail correspondence that was not received well. Although it was resolved, what would have happened if it did not reach a resolution? What if we started harboring resentment and acting out our frustrations? Perhaps the other party goes to human resources and complains that now they are in a hostile work environment and the conflict escalates from there.You have options

An option to prevent this negative conflict spiral is to try Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR). ADR offers various techniques for resolving conflict outside of legal action. A form of ADR that may be appropriate for my e-mail dispute is mediation. The mediation process involves two or more parties, who meet with a third party that has no stake in the outcome of the mediation. They are neutral or impartial to the conflict.  During the mediation process, the mediator is overseeing the conversation between myself and my co-worker to enable us to better communicate, understand one another, and help us identify our interests and options for resolving the dispute.

There are various resources available to try mediation. Some organizations have mediation programs to mediate workplace conflicts, and some communities have community mediation centers that offer mediation to local residents. You may also locate a private practitioner by using this search directory.

If you are interested in trying mediation or are curious about what questions to  ask a potential mediator listen to the Texas Conflict Coach® podcast by Louise Phipps Senft from Louise Phipps Senft and Associates, and founder of the Baltimore Mediation Center.  You may also listen to the podcast by Cordell Wesselink. Wesselink is the ADR Programs Director from Community Boards, the oldest community mediation center in the country.  If you have an unresolved conflict that is festering, I encourage you to try ADR.

By Tracy Culbreath

Graduate Student, University of Baltimore – Negotiation and Conflict Management Program

Leave a Reply


Pet Wars – Mediating Conflict Involving Man’s Best Friend

Conflict Resolution is a veteran field of study. The use of creative and peaceful ways to handle conflict amongst individuals who waDog with boxing glovesnt to be heard and express their interests gives many people the opportunity to help resolve and manage the conflict they encounter daily with each other. Strategies and methods such as mediation, conflict coaching and other Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) practices are used often to resolve disputes involving people but, what happens if the issues to resolve are about your pet?  Yes, that’s right I said your pet. Pets are often the source of conflicts for the people that love and own them, more than we would like to admit. Our beloved pets are often considered “family members” and can even be included in your will. Think about it

Have you ever been in a divorce? You split up all the furniture, other belongings and the money but the dog you brought with your partner is stuck in the middle. Who gets the much-loved dog, cat or even the horse? Or maybe, your hyperactive dog loves to play outside, chase squirrels and bark at everything it sees keeping you up at night. The nice neighbor reports you to the city for nuisance noise and you get a warning to control your pet. Another example is the next door family farm with so many clucking chickens that the noise and smell make you ill.  A common conflict involving animals is the person with disability(s) who has a service animal. The service animal is very important to the owner as the service animal assists the owner in activities of daily life. The person with a disability often encounters challenges and conflict as they enter public facilities, service establishments and the insensitive individuals unaware of disability-rights and the laws that protect the person with a disability.

The most extreme example of conflict escalating to violence involving someone’s pets is the recent Dog-Poop trial in Dallas, Texas. If only this situation had been handled through community mediation much, much sooner people’s lives would have been saved. Imagine all the people in conflict that involve animals.

So, how do you resolve sticky issues regarding animals?

  1. Have an honest and constructive conversation about your concerns without attacking the other person. If nothing changes, then
  2. Find a professional conflict practitioner or even a mediator that is neutral regardless of whether they are a pet lover themselves. Someone who can respect the non-pet owner as well as the pet owner.
  3. Identify your resources and how to handle situations involving animals. For example, know what your city’s ordinances are and the fines for nuisance noise and barking dogs. Understand your rights and the rules when it comes to community space such as dog parks, apartment living and pet-friendly restaurants. Learn about disability rights and how to fairly treat and engage with people who use service animals.

Be courageous! Do not be afraid to exercise and use your resources to prevent further escalation. Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) processes focus on all participants’ needs. In these cases, the needs revolve around animal conflict.

To learn more about Pet Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution visit Hamilton Law And Mediation, PLLC and Dispute Thy Neighbor: Hire A Mediator. Also check out our recent podcast Another Arrow in Your Dispute Resolution Quiver: Animal Conflicts and Alternative Dispute Resolution or Nipped in the Bud, Not in the Butt.

By Tierra Henry, Graduate Student, University of Baltimore Dispute Resolution Program

 

 

Leave a Reply


Fido & Kitty: When Public and Private Venues Square Off-Part 2

 

Debra Hamilton-2013Gary NormanDuring our series, esteemed leaders in law and dispute resolution Ms. Debra Hamilton of New York and Mr. Gary Norman of Maryland will discuss applying traditional as well as virtual Alternative Dispute Resolution tools in resolution of conflicts among people involving their animals. We will focus on everyday events that impact pet ownership including divorce, neighbor, kennel, groomer vet or dog walker/dog park issues and in particular conflicts involving service or assistive animals. The public, as well as practitioners in the legal or Alternative Dispute Resolution fields will learn the importance of having these difficult conversations in divorce, the neighborhood, the tavern, and the workplace involving animal related conflicts. Debra and Gary will explore how alternative dispute resolution methods, mediation or collaborative practice, help progress these difficult conversations towards resolution without litigation. In discussing the kinds of arenas where conflicts about animals may arise, our guests will address various legal issues that might be involved in the mediation of animal conflicts, including a two-part episode looking at issues implicated by the misuse of service animal status by the general public.

In this two-part episode, the co-speakers will discuss a hotbed arena where a myriad of conflicts continually arise involving the access of service animals in civil society.


Read, Listen, Share »

Leave a Reply


Fido & Kitty: When Public and Private Venues Square Off-Part 1

Debra Hamilton-2013Gary Norman During our series, esteemed leaders in law and dispute resolution Ms. Debra Hamilton of New York and Mr. Gary Norman of Maryland will discuss applying traditional as well as virtual Alternative Dispute Resolution tools in resolution of conflicts among people involving their animals. We will focus on every day events that impact pet ownership including divorce, neighbor, kennel, groomer vet or dogwalker/dogpark issues and in particular conflicts involving service or assistive animals. The public as well as practitioners in the legal or Alternative Dispute Resolution fields will learn the importance of having these difficult conversations in divorce, the neighborhood, the tavern, and the workplace involving animal related conflicts. Debra and Gary will explore how alternative dispute resolution methods, mediation or collaborative practice, help progress these difficult conversations towards resolution without litigation. In discussing the kinds of arenas where conflicts about animals may arise, our guests will address various legal issues that might be involved at the mediation of animal conflicts, including a two-part episode looking at issues implicated by the misuse of service animal status by the general public. In this two-part episode, the co-speakers will discuss a hot bed arena where a myriad of conflicts continually arise involving the access of service animals in civil society.

Read, Listen, Share »

Leave a Reply


Another Arrow in Your Dispute Resolution Quiver: Animal Conflicts and Alternative Dispute Resolution

Debra Hamilton-2013Gary NormanDuring our series, esteemed leaders in law and dispute resolution Ms. Debra Hamilton of New York and Mr. Gary Norman of Maryland will discuss applying traditional as well as virtual Alternative Dispute Resolution tools in resolution of conflicts among people involving their animals. We will focus on every day events that impact pet ownership including divorce, neighbor, kennel, groomer vet or dogwalker/dogpark issues and in particular conflicts involving service or assistive animals. The public as well as practitioners in the legal or Alternative Dispute Resolution fields will learn the importance of having these difficult conversations in divorce, the neighborhood, the tavern, and the workplace involving animal related conflicts. Debra and Gary will explore how alternative dispute resolution methods, mediation or collaborative practice, help progress these difficult conversations towards resolution without litigation. In discussing the kinds of arenas where conflicts about animals may arise, our guests will address various legal issues that might be involved at the mediation of animal conflicts, including a two-part episode looking at issues implicated by the misuse of service animal status by the general public.

In this episode, the co-speakers will introduce listeners to the subfield within Alternative Dispute Resolution of animal related conflicts. Debra Hamilton and Gary Norman will tell you the what, where and how to include animal related conflicts in to your practice and how you can use the full range of tools available to alternative dispute resolution practitioners to assist these parties find their own solution to such conflicts.

Read, Listen, Share »

Leave a Reply


Trust 101 – How You Can Build Trust and Overcome Distrust

 

John SettleStephenKotev2Trust is a key element of our personal and professional relationships. Without it progress grinds to a halt and disagreements become rampant amongst friends, coworkers, and leadership. No matter if you are the newest hire or the CEO; you need to understand what trust is and how it is build and that distrust is not just the absence of trust, but a separate, malignant problem!  This program will provide you with specifics on how to build trust and overcome distrust.

Read, Listen, Share »

Leave a Reply


Coexistence and Conflict June Radio Show Series

Coexistence and Conflict Radio Show Series

What happens when we are faced with a situation when our values and belief systems are so polarized it motivates us to hide or to fight vehemently?  Our so-called conflict becomes a protracted dispute for years to come. And yet, how do we begin to acknowledge these differences, embrace our diversity and learn how to coexist in these challenging situations.

The Texas Conflict Coach blog talk radio show will host a number of special guests.

When: Every Tuesday evening in June

Time: 5:00-5:30 pm PST/ 7:00-7:30 pm CST/8:00-8:30 pm EST

How: Call in live at 347-324-3591

Listen live and join the chat at www.blogtalkradio.com/texas-conflict-coach

Listen to archive shows or learn more at Texas Conflict Coach

June 7Coexistence and Conflict with Mari Fitzduff

Professor Fitzduff is the Program Director of the Coexistence and Conflict program at The Heller School of Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. She will discuss her personal experiences living near the Killing Fields of Northern Ireland and how this motivated her to start the Coexistence and Conflict Program.

June 14I Shall Not Hate with Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish

Dr. Abuelaish will talk about his education as a Palestinian becoming a doctor, his work at an Israeli hospital delivering babies and going back and forth over the border to Gaza, and the night that 3 of his daughters were killed in an Israeli attack on Gaza.  Despite this tragedy, Dr. Abuelaish, who now lives in Toronto, Canada, still speaks out for peace.

June 21 – Mediating with True Believers with Beth Padgett and Xan Skinner

People often firmly hold onto beliefs about religion, sexuality/gender concepts, and even family traditions and child-rearing practices. Xan and Beth will identify and discuss barriers to transformation in conflicts related to firmly held beliefs and values. They will share successes they have experienced in their work with individuals and groups who came to mediation entrenched in fixed beliefs. They will also discuss what they learned about mediation, and about their roles as mediators, from mistakes, mis-steps and mishaps along the way.

June 28 – A Look Back at Hurricane Katrina – A Radical New Role for Conflict Management Professionals with Cindy Mazur

Cindy Mazur, a Director for Alternative Dispute Resolution at a federal agency that delivers emergency management services, will use Hurricane Katrina as a model  to discuss the phenomenology of disasters in America. Various deleterious factors can be forecast that impede effective emergency response. These factors can be better managed when one person is placed in a role to oversee and manage the crisis phase of a disaster. A Conflict Management Professional can unify the ad hoc crisis management team and ensure its accountability and engagement. Provision of a structural solution of this nature would signify a commitment by our government to mitigate human misery in disasters.

Leave a Reply




  • Podcast Library

  • Subscribe by Email

    Join our mailing list to receive our newsletter and blogs!

  • Recent Posts