Mediation & Dispute Resolution
Mediation & Dispute Resolution
Dispute Resolution Services Including Mediation Services
Negotiation Advice International (NAI) provides our clients with both in-person and online dispute resolution services through secure video and telephone communications. Our offerings are focused on mediation services and facilitation services but also include arbitration and “med-arb” services.
—Jules B. BlochLLB, Professional Mediator & MLB Arbitrator
—Roger FisherHarvard Law School Professor and Bestselling Author of Getting to Yes
—Harry BarnesFormer Director, Jimmy Carter’s Conflict Resolution Center
NAI’s Pioneering Dispute Resolution Services
All of NAI’s dispute resolution services draw on the expertise and ground-breaking contributions to the modern negotiation and conflict management fields of our firm’s founder, Peter D. Johnston, in addition to 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, both domestically and abroad.
As one of the world’s foremost negotiation experts, Peter has worked with clients ranging from the United Nations, World Bank, and Heads of State to corporations such as HSBC, Intel, Johnson & Johnson, Microsoft, and Suez, as well as unions, including the pilots at American Airlines.
What’s the Difference Between Mediation and Arbitration?
Mediation is a process whereby one of our mediators guides participants through a structured process to try and cooperatively reach an agreement. At the end of the process, each participant decides whether or not to agree to a suggested resolution. If either party declines, the parties have no resolution.
NAI also offers 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 parties 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 they believe is most appropriate to the situation at hand.
So, in brief, what is the difference between mediation and arbitration? Mediation is a voluntary effort to reach an agreement with support from a mediator; arbitration involves a binding decision by an arbitrator; facilitation is a more informal approach to mediation; and med-arb allows for a hybrid approach that tries mediation first, with arbitration as a backup. Prior to moving forward, all parties involved in a conflict must agree to whatever means is to be used to try and settle their dispute. If mutually agreed, even arbitration on an exceptional basis does not necessarily have to be binding.
Our Approach to Alternative Dispute Resolution
Our NAI 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 and guiding labor and management teams through challenging union contract negotiations.
Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) refers to all alternative means of resolving conflicts — including facilitation, mediation, arbitration, and mediation-arbitration — without simply resorting to costly, time-consuming, and emotionally draining lawsuits and court proceedings. Such legal actions inevitably act as the backdrop or context for a good portion of our facilitation, arbitration, and mediation services. 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 means of conflict resolution chosen, we believe that having a common negotiation vocabulary can help the parties to a conflict improve communication, both during and after our involvement, assuming the parties have ongoing interactions in one form or another. 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.
Relying on NAI’s credibility and experience, our dispute resolution clients often have their needs met in exceptional ways that they could never have imagined at the outset of a conflict, leading to sustainable agreements and relationships for years to come.
NAI’s Mediation Services
Much of our firm’s work involves mediating, managing, and negotiating relationships between:
Our clients know that Negotiation Advice International’s integrity, reputation, experience, creativity, and smarts will ensure they’ll get better settlements that are worth more, however worth is to be measured in a given context.
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 whenever 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 and arbitration services. Whatever your specific need, NAI is here to help. On occasion, we will also provide negotiation training to all parties to a dispute together, providing shared vocabulary, problem-solving tools, and productive mindsets before actually beginning to mediate differences.