Online Negotiation Training

Dispute Resolution Services

“The immediate outcome of Peter Johnston's involvement was a very successful contract negotiation. Following these negotiations, both Union and Company employees identified their utmost satisfaction with the process and results.”

— Ed West, Elkem Chemicals

NAI’s negotiation team has decades of experience working in a neutral capacity with all parties to a conflict, from formally or informally facilitating difficult negotiations among nations immersed in war, and mediating indigenous people’s rights with a national government, to resolving disputes involving high-profile families and couples, or guiding labor and management teams through challenging union contract negotiations.
We provide our alternative dispute resolution clients with both in-person dispute resolution services and online dispute resolution services through secure video and telephone communications.
Mediation is a process whereby one of our mediators guides participants through a structured process to try and cooperatively reach agreement. At the end of the process, each participant decides whether to agree to a suggested resolution.
NAI also offers you as a client facilitation services resembling a structured conversation among those affected, as well as more formal arbitration services where one of our adjudicators, with a mandate from all participants, will render a binding decision.
Finally, mediation-arbitration (often abbreviated to “med-arb”) is yet another means of dispute resolution offered by our firm: as a party to such a process, you consent to mediation, but if no agreement is reached, you also consent to our arbitrator having the right to render a binding decision based on what he or she believes is most appropriate to the situation at hand.
All of our dispute resolution work draws on the unique expertise and ground- breaking contributions to the modern negotiation and conflict management fields of our firm’s founder, Peter D. Johnston, as well as research and case studies at Harvard University, to which Peter has contributed.
Peter’s award-winning book, Negotiating with Giants, relays lessons from our firm’s experience, research, and some of history’s most difficult negotiations and conflicts, including trade deals, hostage-takings, business contract negotiations, and union contract negotiations. His results have been formally recognized by the United States Government for their positive economic and social impact, domestically and abroad.
NAI’s alternative dispute resolution clients often have their needs met in exceptional ways they could never have imagined at the outset of a conflict, leading to sustainable agreements and relationships for years to come.

Dispute Resolution Services

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Dispute Resolution Services
Negotiation Keynote Speaker
Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) simply refers to any and all alternative means of resolving conflicts — including facilitation, mediation, arbitration and mediation-arbitration — without immediately resorting to costly, time- consuming and emotionally draining lawsuits and court proceedings. Such legal actions inevitably act as the backdrop or context for much of our mediation, arbitration and facilitation work. One of our firm’s contributions in such situations is to assess the realities of the benefits and downside to such legal actions for each party, while focusing on mutually beneficial agreements that can better meet the interests of all parties to a conflict rather than going to court with all of its unknown risks and outcomes. NAI delivers the full breadth of alternative dispute resolution processes to our clients as described above.
Regardless of the specific chosen means of conflict resolution, we believe that having a common negotiation vocabulary can help the parties to a conflict improve communication, both during our involvement and afterwards assuming the parties have ongoing interactions going forward. Once the history of a relationship has been surfaced along with relevant facts, the interests of the parties are uncovered, agreement options explored, and relevant standards drawn upon to guide parties towards a lasting commitment. The goal is always to identify a new path forward that meets the financial, emotional and relationship interests of all involved, including parties who may not be formally represented in discussions.

Dispute Resolution Services

Mediation Services

Much of our firm’s alternative dispute resolution work involves mediating, facilitating, managing and/or negotiating relationships between:
Unions and management teams, including union contract negotiations
Couples in personal relationships, marriages, and separation or divorce proceedings
Family-owned businesses grappling with control, succession or management issues
Consulting firms and their clients when arrangements don’t go as planned
Consulting firms and their clients when arrangements don’t go as planned
Executives and employers in their contract negotiations
Companies working through disputes or opportunities with other companies, governments or individuals
Nations dealing with other governments, including aboriginal, indigenous and First Nation negotiations
Dispute Resolution Services
Negotiation Keynote Speaker
We aim to build a strong foundation for our clients to relate to one another, communicate effectively and resolve their differences. We then disengage ourselves as quickly as appropriate because we believe that the more people can learn to deal with differences on their own, the faster new heights can be reached as they build or re-build their relationships. Of course, we are always available to re-engage where helpful.
Our NAI team has decades of experience in the realm of conflict management and dispute resolution, from facilitation and mediation services, to mediation- arbitration services and arbitration services. Whatever your specific needs, NAI is ready to help. On occasion, we will also provide negotiation training to all parties to a dispute together, providing shared vocabulary, problem-solving tools, and helpful mindsets before actually beginning to dig into the differences among the parties.

Dispute Resolution Services

Dispute Resolution: Case Examples

Dispute Resolution Services
Negotiation Keynote Speaker
Case #1: Celebrity Family Members

A well-known family came to us to help resolve differences over a critical business decision that was being undermined by old disputes, personality differences, and familial dysfunction dating back decades. We started with basic guidelines for how we would all interact with one another, including a confidentiality agreement. Following one-on-one talks with each family member on the phone, we moved to a series of in-person meetings, listening to everyone’s perspectives, and analyzing and discussing how different Myers-Briggs personality types may have contributed to family dynamics. After working through the details of this family’s history and enabling a difficult but meaningful dialogue about the past and present, we turned towards the future to resolve the business decision in a manner acceptable to all. Over time, NAI has continued to act as a sounding board for this family when any new relational or business issues have surfaced.

Case #2: A National Government & Indigenous Group

This mediation over relationship and self-governance matters involved a significant focus on the historic relationship between the parties and a detailed, jointly-generated timeline to surface key events, impressions of those events and the related impact on the relationship between the parties. We developed a mutually agreed process for these highly sensitive discussions, including the use of a talking stick. With a foundation of increased trust and transparency established, NAI continued to stay involved over time, contributing whenever helpful to coordination between the parties as they tackled specific issues together.

Case #3: A Company & Union

Our Managing Director Peter Johnston led a labor-management engagement with a bitter history including recent lockouts and strikes. At the request of both parties, union and management, Peter and his team started by training all parties together over the course of three days in best practices for negotiating differences with each other. On the final day of training, with Peter’s guidance the parties started to brainstorm about some of their most challenging issues in upcoming talks. Peter then helped structure talks and facilitated them until the parties were able to operate on their own. A ground-  breaking contract was reached and the parties agreed that our training and facilitation of their contract discussions was critical to this positive outcome.