Alternative Dispute Resolution
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“The reality today is that we are all interdependent and have to co-exist on this small planet. Therefore, the only sensible and intelligent way of resolving differences and clashes of interests, whether between individuals or nations, is through dialogue.” - Dalai Lama
Even with the best intentions, people may find they have trouble dealing satisfactorily with interpersonal conflict at work. Over time, unresolved conflict can negatively affect working relationships and the work environment.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) services help you find constructive ways to deal with conflict in order to maintain a positive, healthy work culture (example: encouraging dialogue between concerned parties before starting a grievance process).
You should use this service:
Employees and managers are expected to participate in ADR in good faith.
For general information or to schedule an appointment, call 434.924.4105.
Mediation sessions provide a forum for all parties to discuss concerns and generate solutions. Our process accommodates one-to-one, individual-to-group, and group-to-group issues.
Trained mediators (who are neutral third parties) are accessible through several UVA departments to help individuals
Advantages of Mediation
Situations Benefiting From Mediation
Why to Choose Mediation
Mediation consists of individual coaching designed to generate strategies, options, and techniques for interacting effectively during conflict.
It may be a good option if:
Facilitation is the process in which a neutral person helps a group work together more effectively.
Facilitators may work with small groups within an organization or with representatives of different organizations who are working together in a collaborative process.
Informational presentations provide information ranging from basic conflict management techniques to mediation information sessions.
They may be scheduled for your staff, faculty, or departmental meetings, workshops, welcome events, etc. and can be tailored for your audience.
Periodic training activities will be available for faculty, staff, and leaders across the University addressing conflict management and related topics.
Mediation is an informal and voluntary problem-solving process that promotes constructive and respectful communication for managing conflict between two or more individuals. This confidential process provides one to two impartial mediators who help parties define issues and reach mutually acceptable agreements.
Mediation is most effective early in a dispute; however, more prolonged conflicts can also be addressed in mediation, particularly when both parties are interested in resolving the issues. Mediation has been successful in addressing interpersonal dynamics (e.g. one party is perceived as disrespectful by the language, tone, method, and/or manner of interactions by the other party) as well as issues which may escalate into a formal complaint and/or discipline process.
Mediation typically occurs more quickly than most fact-finding complaint processes. Prior to mediation, a one-hour meeting is scheduled between the mediator(s) and each party separately. All parties later come together in a session. Mediation can usually be scheduled within a week and is typically only limited by the availability of the parties.
Our process has the flexibility to also address multi-party disputes, including chain of command issues (two colleagues/co-workers and a supervisor) and group issues (several parties that have common issues regarding another party or common issues in group on group situations).
Mediators are individuals from across UVA who have training and experience in conducting employment mediation. A co-mediator may also participate in partnership with a mediator. Mediation should be conducted only by an individual who is neutral to the situation. For this reason, mediators will not conduct mediation within their own department or organizational area.
Yes. Parties agree to keep information confidential unless both agree to release specific information to other parties.
Before the session: Each party may first meet with a mediator individually to talk through the issues, decide if mediation is the right path for the situation, and help prepare for the mediation session.
The actual mediation session is divided into two parts:
Conflict coaching provides faculty or staff members a forum to describe the conflict from their own perspectives and generate possible strategies that they may initiate to improve the situation, raise issues with the other party, and/or identify other resources. Many people find this process valuable in finding positive avenues to address conflict.
Mediation is not part of the formal grievance process. Parties may choose to continue the processing of the grievance or put it on hold while parties try mediation. Typically, mediation can occur more quickly than the time required to process grievances and other formal complaints. If mediation successfully addresses those issues, parties often agree to withdraw the grievance or complaint. If mediation is unsuccessful, parties may opt to continue with the formal complaint.
Retaliation is strictly forbidden under UVA’s Anti-Retaliation Policy. The department will respond to any allegations of retaliation. If retaliation is found to have occurred, those responsible for the retaliation are subject to disciplinary action.