Tony Belak

Tony Belak

Tony Belak is the Ombuds at the University of Louisville, Associate Director of the Center for Conflict Resolution at La Sierra University, Riverside, California, associate director of the International Center for Compassionate Organizations and the former Executive Director of the International Center for Collaborative Solutions at Sullivan University, Louisville, Kentucky, where he was also on the faculty of the Master of Science in Conflict Management program. He is a faculty member of the Department of Urban and Public Affairs at the University of Louisville and associate editor of the online Journal of Conflict Management at Sullivan University. He was the Senior Dispute Resolution Counsel for the Department of Veterans Affairs and is not only a mediator and arbitrator but also a teacher in basic, advanced, and specialized conflict resolution. He is recognized for his innovation in designing conflict resolution programs within the workplace.

Contact Tony Belak


Articles and Video:

America at a Crossroads (11/28/16)
Is intervention possible that will permit the US society to continue to rise or to keep the decline at bay longer?

New Approach to Conflict Resolution (10/28/16)
Traditional approaches to conflict resolution rely on negotiations and changes in training, policies, and procedures. Trying to fix problems after they have already occurred is akin to the desire to improve quality, productivity, and performance in manufacturing and service applications with monitoring alone.

How To Handle Difficult Behavior In The Workplace (01/11/16)
There is no magic pill but there is a prescription to change behavior in others. It takes time and patience to cure such negative characteristics, and it doesn’t help to ignore the problem behavior or respond likewise or criticize rather than cure or just brand someone as a problem and be the psychiatrist to their craziness. We can work to prevent unproductive and negative behavior that leads to conflict.

Mediation Styles (03/30/15)
Conflict is not unique to humans, but it can be said that the involvement of third parties in conflict, for better or worse, is a distinctly human activity and it has been around since Man began speaking and walking erect. Given this history, it is unsurprising that over time, innumerable styles, techniques and customs have come into play, and it is further unsurprising that the relative merits, and applicability of of these techniques have become the topic of scrutiny, study and academic debate.

Meditation Enhances Mediation: A Six Sigma Perspective (excerpt) (06/13/14)
The importance of including meditation in mediation efforts is explained. A considerable body of evidence in the scientific literature, as well as reputed media publications, are supportive of the hypothesis meditation will enhance workplace mediation programs. Together they will lead to less workplace discord and workforce conflict, as well as offer improvements in health, wellness, quality, productivity, and competitive position.

From Tony Belak (10/11/11)
As I have watched grow over the past 16 years, so too has the field of conflict management. It is no coincidence... this resource has charted the future and direction of ADR. It connects us and offers a venue to share ideas and best practices. I have read every one of the 400 issues to my benefit and that of my students, to whom I recommend as a necessary part of reading the literature in this field of study. Thank you for the hard work and effort but especially for the insight, information, and guidance from the contents and the contributions of so are our community activists.

From Tony Belak (08/30/07)
Congratulations on the milestone of 200 issues of The Newsletter. When I first discovered this treasure trove of information, opinions, and insight into our ever expanding field I immediately realized the importance and value such a clearinghouse of ideas could be for a fledgling profession. is the first place my graduate students are asked to go for a glimpse into their new and exciting course of study, and it is an often quoted cite in papers and discussions. Thank you for pioneering with this resource and giving the world and all of us the opportunity to have a place to interact, share, and learn. Your tireless efforts, good work, and contribution should be recognized as the brightest star in this constellation we call ADR.

The Use Of Mediation In The Patient Complaint Process (01/20/03)
The time is ripe for a new approach to resolving conflict arising out of a personal and intimate relationship such as health care delivery. With emphasis on listening and empathy rather than legal wrangling, patients and physicians can willingly reconstruct or dismantle their relationship in a manner and fashion wherein they retain control of the outcome with some mutual respect or recognition of needs.

Obstacles To Successful Mediation (08/26/02)
Parties in mediation must want to identify their needs and interests and have a willingness to share understanding of core principles and motivations, before they can realize the importance of creating a common resolution. Only the parties can give or take from each other what is required to serve their deepest need fulfillment and reach settlement, but some key obstacles to a successful mediation may doom the process.

Intergroup Conflict in the Workplace (06/07/02)
Some conflict, called functional conflict, is considered positive, because it enhances performance and identifies weaknesses. Dysfunctional conflict, however, is confrontation or interaction between groups that harms the organization or hinders attainment of goals or objectives.

Professional Responsibility And Mediation (05/06/02)
Appropriate Dispute Resolution (ADR) is processes all attorneys have heard of but not enough understand or utilize to the best benefit of their client. The value in the interactive dynamic of mediation is not so much the outcome as the emotional investment in getting there. Parties want to settle the dispute that engulfs them; they want to get on with their lives or business; and they want to know they were right in the thing which brought them to this point. We often practice paternalistic law, assuming we know best what is the interest of the client, but too often the client can be battered by it’s imposed best interests, and there can be no constructive conflict.