The three most common alternative dispute resolution techniques are mediation, arbitration, and med-arb.
However, it can often be difficult to determine which method is best for your particular situation.
Here are four possible objectives you may have as a leader in your organization and suggestions for which type of ADR may be most appropriate in that scenario.
Objective #1: Creating Lasting Solutions to Problems
When you are trying to generate solutions that will survive the test of time it is important to have buy-in from all parties. This can be achieved through mediation in which all parties are responsible for coming to a mutually agreeable solution. However, in a corporate setting this process may more closely resemble med-arb given that as a manager, you have the final say if no resolution can be reached.
Objective #2: Increasing Perceived Fairness
As a manager, when you intervene in organizational conflicts there may be some question regarding your impartiality in decision making given your ongoing relationships with those involved and the fact that you may have a stake in the final decision. It may seem counterintuitive, but it may be best to use a mediation or the med-arb strategy in this situation to limit the manager’s impulse to exert control in the dispute resolution process.
Objective #3: Minimizing Time Costs
While mediation may generate more creative solutions to a dispute, it can be very time-consuming. In cases where there is concern about time constraints, like when a deadline is looming, it may be best to utilize arbitration to reach a timely conclusion.
Objective #4: Maximizing Value
As a manager, mediation provides an excellent opportunity for you to engage meaningfully with others in your organization. In mediation you work as a team to develop creative, comprehensive solutions to shared problems, a valuable skill away from the bargaining table as well.
What are your go-to alternative dispute resolution techniques? Share them in the comments.