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OPTIONS FOR RESOLVING CONFLICTS. By Marilyn Littlejohn, M.Div., M.P.A. Sound Facilitated Solutions (206) 384.0914 May 2011. More Examples of Conflict. Business – Dividing up a Business; Developing a Business; Contract Disputes; Consumer Complaints

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options for resolving conflicts

OPTIONS FOR RESOLVING CONFLICTS

By Marilyn Littlejohn, M.Div., M.P.A.

Sound Facilitated Solutions

(206) 384.0914

May 2011

more examples of conflict
More Examples of Conflict
  • Business – Dividing up a Business; Developing a Business; Contract Disputes; Consumer Complaints
  • Consumers – Poor Workmanship; Refunds / Exchanges
  • Workplace - Employee Performance; Roles & Responsibilities; Work Product; Terminations; Discriminations
  • Neighbors – Property Disputes; Noise or Pet Complaints; Event Planning; Site Issues
  • Family – Parenting Plans; Elder Care; Vacation Planning; Parent/Child Disputes
  • Tenant/Landlord – Evictions; Deposits; Maintenance
  • Civic & Community Relations – Land Use and Community Development Strategies; Community Events; Ethnic & Cultural Relations
characteristics of conflict
Characteristics of Conflict
  • Normal part of life
  • Involves at least two people
  • A sense of struggle exists
  • The object of the conflict is very important to both / all parties
options for resolving conflict
Options for Resolving Conflict
  • Litigation
  • Negotiation
  • Mediation
  • Arbitration
litigation
Litigation

A civil action brought by a plaintiff, a party who claims to have incurred loss as a result of a defendant’s actions, to a court of law. The defendant is required to respond to the plaintiff\'s complaint. Parties engage attorneys to make their case before a judge. Judge decides who wins.

Qualities

  • Adversarial
  • Formal / Inflexible / Process Laden
  • Costly and Time Consuming
  • Judge Decides
  • Transparent
the problem with litigation
The Problem With Litigation

“Traditional litigation is a mistake that must be corrected….For some disputes trials will be the only means, but for many claims trials by adversarial contest must in time go the way of the ancient trial by battle and blood. Our system is too costly, too painful, to destructive, too inefficient for really civilized people.”

Chief Justice Warren Burger (ret.), U.S. Supreme Court

negotiation
Negotiation

A dialogue between two or more parties.

Objectives include:

  • to reach an understanding
  • to resolve point of difference
  • to produce an agreement upon courses of action

Qualities:

  • Informal/Flexible and Low Cost
  • Collaborative and Confidential
  • Parties Decide
negotiation conflict management styles
Negotiation / Conflict Management Styles

Avoiding: Delay or avoid response; withdraw; be inaccessible; divert attention. (lose-leave/win)

Accommodating: Let the other\'s view prevail; give in; decide it\'s no big deal or it doesn\'t matter. (L-yield/W)

Competing: Control the outcome; discourage disagreement; insist own view prevails. (W/L)

Compromising: Split the difference; find a little something for everyone; meet the other halfway. (W-L/W-L)

Collaborating: Assert own views while also inviting other views. Welcome differences; identify all main concerns; generate options; search for solution which meets as many concerns as possible; search for mutual agreement. (W/W)

Source: http://peace.mennolink.org/resources/conflictstyle/styles.html

mediation
Mediation
  • A negotiation assisted by a mediator.
  • Parties still determine options that satisfy their own interests and make their own decisions about what they will agree to.
  • The settlement agreement signed by the parties will be legally binding, just like any contract.
  • A mediator is a neutral, third party, whose role is to improve communications between the parties.
  • Process is confidentiality
variants of mediation
Variants of Mediation
  • Multi-Party Mediation – For conflicts that occur in organizations like services agencies, faith communities, community associations, co-ops, extended families, work teams/groups.
  • Conciliation - A process whereby the parties to a dispute use a neutral, third party, who meets with or talks to the parties separately in an attempt to resolve their differences. Sometimes called “shuttle mediation.”
  • Restorative Justice - Engages those harmed, wrongdoers and their affected communities in search for solutions that promote repair, reconciliation and the rebuilding of relationships.
arbitration
Arbitration
  • Functions like a mini trial with rules of evidence. An arbitrator reviews the case and imposes a decision that is legally binding for both sides.
  • The result arbitration is final and the parties can rarely successfully appeal an arbitrators’ decision even if it appears to be completely unreasonable or unfair.
  • Arbitration tends to proceed faster than a case in court and it typically cost less then a litigation. However, it is more costly and requires more time than a negotiation or mediation.
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