What is Dispute Resolution?
Dispute resolution is the process of resolving a dispute or a conflict by meeting at least some of each side’s needs and addressing their interests.
Whether a conflict erupts at work or at home, we frequently fall back on the tendency to try to correct the other person or group’s perceptions, lecturing them about why we’re right—and they’re wrong. Deep down, we know that this dispute resolution approach usually fails to resolve the conflict and often only makes it worse.
Dispute resolution strategies aim to settle these conflicts by fostering a rapport, considering interests and values separately, appealing to overarching values, and indirect confrontation.
Dispute resolution is often a multistep process that can start with negotiation, move on to mediation, and, if necessary, end in arbitration or litigation. This progression allows parties to start off, quite naturally, with less-expensive, less-formal procedures before making bigger commitments of money and time.
One of the most important conflict negotiation strategies you can adopt is to listen actively to your counterpart’s concerns. To do so, you will need to resist the urge to interrupt and defend yourself.
It’s also important to recognize when a dispute resolution effort isn’t working. In that case, it’s often smart to enlist a mediator or other unbiased third party to help manage the conflict.
Remember, too, that the areas where you and your counterpart do not see eye-to-eye are areas of growth and opportunities for value creation.
You can improve your dispute resolution skills, and have more confidence in solving personal and professional conflicts by downloading a complimentary copy of our special report, Dispute Resolution: Working Together Toward Conflict Resolution on the Job and at Home, from Harvard Law School, right now! We will send you a download link to your copy of the report and notify you by email when we post new business negotiation advice and information.
The following items are tagged dispute resolution: