Arrange your business to business, business to client, and interpersonal relationship to avoid litigation
"No human endeavor is free from disagreement" - Conflict Resolution Day Proclamation, Oct. 16, 2008 - Governor of Hawaii Linda Lingle.
Process steps in conflict avoidance, prevention, and resolution:
Prior to and as part of formalizing a relationship agreement on steps and processes to be taken to avoid, prevent, and resolve conflict. Where there is a contract the process for resolution of conflict is incorporated into the contract.
Proactively monitor for and take steps to avoid and prevent conflict amongst people due to unresolved disagreements beginning to impact their behavior towards each other. Develop a conflict resolution escalation process (ladder in an organizational context).
Should conflict arise initiate direct negotiations. Think in terms of your and your counterparts issues (what are they?). How does an issue impact an interest (a core aspect of a relationship)? What needs arise in order to resolve the issue and return equilibrium to your and your counterparts interests? Is there common ground whcih can serve as the basis of reaching an agreement?
If direct negotiations are failing request third party facilitation or mediation as appropriate. Resolution is by mutual agreement of the parties!
Only when the above fails resort to arbitration or litigation where a decision on who wins and who loses are made by a third party. You have given power for decision making to the arbitrator or the judge.
Communications conducted with and through a third party - a mediator.
Focused on continuing and furthering negotiations to reach mutual agreement
Conducted with protections in confidentiality. Normally the only writing is a mutually accepted "agreement".
Examples of scope of issues covered:
Money - price, damages
Broken promises - contract, child custody
Court ordered mediation- focused on the issues in litigation
Example of a mediation process:
Mutual agreement by disputing parties to mediate and selecting a mediator.
Preparation for mediation with each side meeting with a mediator
Joint with all parties present
Separately, with mediator shuttling between each party
Agreeing on a common problem statement
> Party A's problem is ... to resolve A needs ...
> Party B's problem is ... to resolve B needs ... etc.
Getting the parties within negotiating range or identifying alternatives from which the parties work to select a mutually acceptable resolution.
Find common ground
Close gaps or narrow alternatives to consider
Unable to work out differences identify BATNA (Best Alternative to Negotiated Agreement)
Resolve and write, review, mutually agree on steps for resolution in the form of an agreement which is an enforceable contract
Mutual agreement required during all stages - exception: to stop a mediation! Any party can ask for an end to a mediation.
Comparitavely small cost for preparation followed by a fee for the services of a mediator split between the parties
Mediation is a continuation of negotiations. Utilizing a third party intercessor, a mediator, who is a problem solver, disputants can find common ground towards reaching agreement.
Mediation is non adversarial. Disputants talk to each other through the mediator allowing the focus to be the issues rather than each other. Through the mediator disputants also become problem solvers.
My practice focuses on disputes as a problem or set of problems which need to be solved. My process is non judgmental. Each disputants perspective is their reality. Judgments are left to disputants. I work on the basis disputants know their problems much better than I do. However, it is my job to weed out issues, work with disputants to identify common ground, keep disputants focused, and work towards an agreement which satisfies disputants needs. On the other hand if disputants haven’t quite figured out how to resolve their issues then it’s time to become creative, identify additional steps to take, always leaving disputants an option to work on their best alternatives to a negotiated agreement.
While recognizing disputants cost consciousness my fees are taken to support my ability to deliver value added services to clients.
If you are facing a conflict or entering into a relationship in which conflict is possible call me for a free initial consultation.
By appointment only.
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