What is Resolving Disputes in Negotiation?
Resolving disputes requires specialized negotiation skills that may include mediation, arbitration or other alternative dispute resolution approaches
Organizations have long recognized the value of hiring professional mediators to help in resolving disputes. More and more, managers have begun to also see value in securing mediation training for themselves and their employees.
In mediation, a neutral third party tries to help parties in conflict hammer out a resolution that is sustainable, voluntary, and non-binding. Mediation is also a relatively fast and inexpensive means of resolving disputes.
Increasingly, however, employers are adding another dispute-resolution tool to that list: e-mediation. Like traditional mediation, e-mediation is a voluntary process of resolving disputes with the assistance of a neutral third party. Although, the role of technology is often likened to a “fourth party” in the process, and it is used to varying degrees.
When mediation doesn’t work, parties may move to arbitration. In arbitration, a neutral third party serves as a judge who is responsible for resolving disputes. Arbitrators hand down decisions that are usually confidential and that cannot be appealed.
A hybrid mediation-arbitration approach called med-arb combines the benefits of both techniques. In this increasingly popular process, parties first attempt to collaborate on an agreement with the help of a mediator. If the mediation ends in impasse, or if issues remain unresolved, the parties can then move on to arbitration.
Of course, the most familiar approach to resolving disputes is litigation. Civil litigation typically involves a defendant facing off against a plaintiff before either a judge or a judge and jury.
Lawyers typically dominate litigation, which often ends in a settlement agreement during the pretrial period of discovery and preparation.
To learn more about resolving disputes, download your FREE copy of Dispute Resolution: Working Together Toward Conflict Resolution on the Job and at Home from Harvard Law School
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