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Mediation is an informal, confidential, yet structured process in which a neutral third person, called a mediator, helps disputing parties work through and resolve conflicts. The power of this outside intervention helps parties caught in destructive patterns of communication and power struggles, to find common ground, discover options for resolution and learn constructive ways of communicating.  As a result of using mediation, employers often find that there is increased productivity and creativity in the workplace because the participants were given a forum in which they felt safe, had the opportunity to be heard, learned new ways of communicating, and avenues were opened to create their own solutions.  Employers also find that mediation:

  • Saves the time, expense and distress of continuing to deal with unresolved conflict
  • Decreases the need to resort to expensive litigation or resolves pending litigation
  • Helps workers gain skills to address future problems productively
  • Provides a confidential way in which to resolve difficult issues

Mediation in the workplace may be used when issues arise:

  • Between co-workers
  • Between supervisors and employees
  • Within teams
  • Between different layers of an organization
  • Between the organization and its customers.

It is especially useful when there are perceptions of discrimination, disability accommodation issues, and interpersonal communication issues.

Unresolved disputes are costly because they harm business relationships, disrupt the workplace, depress productivity, and ultimately create a risk of expensive, uncertain, and protracted legal proceedings. ACDRS has a range of mediation styles and matches them to suit the needs and expectations of the parties.  ACDRS recognizes that parties have different needs which may require a different style and has the flexibility to address interpersonal conflicts as well as differences over legal, monetary or policy issues.


Conflict coaching helps employees, supervisors or anyone who desires to resolve an on-going conflict by providing the support, focus, and guidance necessary to turn an unproductive conflict into a constructive solution.   Conflict coaching, a one-on-one confidential process, helps individuals not only resolve current disputes but also helps prevent unnecessary ones. Conflict coaching is designed to help individuals find clarity, a new sense of direction and oftentimes more effective relationships.

The initial coaching session is held in person and may last 1-2 hours.  After that, shorter sessions may be conducted by telephone, face-to-face or electronically.  Participants report that the sessions are reassuring, fun and energizing.

Many people choose conflict coaching to prepare for mediation or use it for additional support post-mediation with respect to any challenging aftermath.  When the other party is not willing to use mediation, conflict coaching may give the support, courage and skills needed to bring about the best outcome without resorting to hiring an attorney.

Waiting for conflict to escalate and then reacting undermines workplace morale.  With conflict coaching, an organization can show its commitment to respectful workplaces and relationships. In very short, focused conversations, ACDRS conflict coaches can quickly analyze the barriers to effective communication, strategize new ways of approaching an issue and support positive changes in relationships.


Effective teams have members who are fully committed to a common goal and mission, are mutually accountable to one another, trust one another, work in collaboration, share in leadership and are more than the sum of their parts.  Ineffective teams may work on a common goal, may feel accountable but only to the manager, the members don’t have a clear stable culture, conflict leading nowhere is frequent and the individual members may or may not accomplish their own goals.

ACDRS can determine where the obstacles to optimum team performance lie and design the right team building program for your organization.


ACDRS helps groups from small work units through the entire organization enhance their performance through learning how to resolve inter-personal and/or organizational conflicts constructively and to communicate or negotiate more effectively. Our approach usually begins with an organizational assessment which ACDRS uses to develop a lively, interactive training package customized to the needs and culture of the organization.

Training programs ACDRS has developed in the past teach skills that clients can rely upon to increase productivity and improve communication.  For example, participants in our person-to-person feedback in the workplace classes have learned how to overcome discomfort with conflict and develop the confidence to approach another person successfully about an issue.  They also learned how to respond appropriately when someone approached them with an issue.  Classes in topics such as managing across generations, facilitation, mediation, negotiation, interest based bargaining and memorializing agreements are also available.


ACDRS specializes in facilitation of groups tasked with solving complex problems. Our skillful facilitators come from a broad base of professional experience that affords a real-world understanding of issues and allows us to help groups focus on solutions that will work and will be durable over time.

When facilitating groups, we work with group members to assure that the process is fair and accessible to all parties, that there is an accurate record of the proceedings, and that the group’s progress is tracked so that no issues are lost or left incompletely resolved. Our facilitators create a successful process while remaining neutral to all of the parties.

When you’re ready to get started, call us at (206) 367-1994 or fill out the form below and let us know how we can help you.