The Interagency Alternative Dispute Resolution Working Group (IADRWG) Workplace Conflict Management Section (“Workplace Section”) provides guidance on “best practices” in ADR program development, education, and technical assistance to meet the needs of federal agencies interested in further development and enhancement of their workplace dispute resolution programs.
Among the activities of the Workplace Section are the ADR Lunchtime Series (generally held on a monthly basis). The ADR Lunchtime Series features speakers who are federal ADR practitioners and administrators, professors, and private ADR consultants. These speakers present current, useful, and thought-provoking sessions relevant to federal workplace ADR programs and beyond. To receive notices about upcoming ADR Lunchtime Series programs, please go to the DOJ/IADRWG home page at www.adr.gov and on the bottom of the page click “Receive Notices of Training Events” then enter your email address in the box provided and press “go” to join the list serve. The list serve keeps recipients updated as to upcoming IADRWG events, as well as providing opportunities to participate in group activities and meetings.
The ADR lunchtime programs are currently being held at the Department of Energy. You may view the 2014 ADR Lunchtime programs on DOE’s YouTube video at the following links.
The Secretary of Energy expresses support of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and the DOE annual celebration of Conflict Resolution Day held on the third Thursday of October.
Listen to Secretary Moniz
March 24, 2015 -"Positivity in Workplace Conflict Management"
This session explores the role of positive psychology – the scientific study of happiness and well-being – in the management of workplace conflict. We will discuss positive coaching, positive trainings, and positive facilitations. The goal of the session is to share insight on current studies and trends, available resources, and possible next steps in integrating positivity into our practices. Additionally, we will consider when to draw on the principles of positive psychology as a valuable and integral part of ADR work.
Speaker: Vik Kapoor, ADR Attorney Advisor, Federal Emergency Management Agency and Executive Council Member, ABA Section of Dispute Resolution
January 29, 2015 - "Unconscious Bias and the Mediation/ADR Process"
This session focuses on strategies, issues, and insights into how unconscious bias impacts our perceptions, beliefs, and behaviors in today’s workplace. Real-world case studies and current research are provided to increase awareness of the elements of the mediation/ADR process that may be impacted by biased communication and perception. The discussion includes: 6 ways unconscious bias sneaks into our language, perception, and decisions; techniques for avoiding the “Pygmalion Effect”; why we underestimate how universal stereotypes are; and how the same behavior can have different meanings to different observers.
Guest Speakers: Charles “Skip” Pettit, President, International Training Consortium, Inc. and former Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute Adjunct Faculty Member and
Dr. Lester Hoffman, Harvard University PhD & Faculty Member, bias expert, researcher, and author of 3 books on bias
November 17, 2014 - “Consequences of Workplace Intimidation: The Boss Whisperer and Other Tools for ADR Professionals”
Guest Speaker: Lynn M. Fraser, Director for Alternative Dispute Resolution Office, Federal Election Commission
This session will provide psychological insight into aggressive interaction in the workplace. We will examine individual behaviors which cause emotional distress and disrupt organizational functioning. The speaker will share the Boss Whisperer process and other tools that can assist organizations with eliminating toxic behaviors. The session will also address the current research on the consequences of, and responses to, workplace bullying.
OCTOBER 16, 2014 - “WHERE DO YOU STAND IN THE FEEDBACK LOOP? MAKE FEEDBACK WORK FOR YOU”
Guest Speaker: John Settle, President, SETTLEment Associates, LLC, Mediator, Group Facilitator, Coach/Mentor, Trainer, and Consultant
This interactive session during Conflict Resolution Month will delve into the complex topic of giving and receiving feedback. The presenter – a preeminent trainer and coach – will discuss how to use our skills and knowledge to help people in organizations work together effectively on communication, performance, and behavior issues. The session will focus on the use of metaphor, narrative, and strategic questioning to: 1) show parties we hear and understand what they are saying; 2) help them recognize the nuances and complexities of what they are talking about; and 3) provide opportunities for new perspectives and change.
September 19, 2014 – “THE MEMODRAMA OF CONFLICT: FROM PASSIVE VICTIM TO ACTIVE HERO”
Guest Speaker: Dr. Samantha Hardy – Professor, Conflict Coach, and Founder of REAL Conflict Coaching System
Conflict stories tend to be melodramatic in their content and structure. In this workshop, we will examine the different characters that populate the melodramatic narrative and the development of the melodramatic plot. We will also consider how the narrative distorts and structures people’s experience of conflict. We will see how some of the elements of tragedy can better prepare people to manage their conflict more effectively. We will explore practical strategies to move towards a more active, realistic, and constructive approach to manage conflict.
May 14, 2014 - “Your Brain on Conflict”
Speaker: Dr. Julie Sasscer-Burgos, Psy.D., Deputy Chief, Occupational Health Environmental and Safety Services, National Security Agency
In this workshop we will discuss basic brain structures and functions - how they affect behavior and are affected by behavior. We will also discuss neurotransmitters that are important in both producing and interpreting behavior. This knowledge will form the basis for a discussion of how we can influence behavior during times of conflict. We will take typical situations faced by managers and employees, and apply the knowledge of neuroscience to guide us towards more satisfying and effective interactions.
April 10, 2014 - “Workplace Disruptions, Reorganizations, and ‘Change Fatigue’: Can ADR Support Resilience?”
Speaker: Claudine Schweber, Ph.D.,Professor, Doctor of Management Program (DM) University of Maryland University College
Today's government employees often operate in an environment of continuous change such as the sequester, agency re-organizations, furloughs, revision of job duties, and more. The responses to such adverse situations include succumbing, surviving, resilience, and thriving. How can ADR professionals assist employees to move towards resilience or thriving? This workshop will examine perspectives on crisis management, resilience, continuity, dealing with "change fatigue," and learning to "manage the unexpected.
March 10, 2014 - “Respectful Confrontation”
Speaker: Joe Weston, International workshop facilitator, author of Mastering Respectful Confrontation, consultant, personal life coach, creative social activist, and advocate for peace
This workshop will explore how the principles of Respectful Confrontation are necessary for effective leadership in our new work culture. These principles are based on the belief that it is possible to stand in your power, speak your truth, hear the truth of others, and have your needs met in a way that will not cause harm. The use of Respectful Confrontation principles results in a shift in behavior, insight into yourself, and an ease with tackling challenging situations with integrity and understanding.
OTHER ADR LUNCHTIME PROGRAMS - “TAKING THE WAR OUT OF WORDS”,
“MEDIATING COMPLEX DISPUTES WITH THE GOVERNMENT’ AND “HOW ADR PRINCIPLES MAY HELP THE REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION INTERACTIVE PROCESS”
NOVEMBER 8, 2012 - “TAKING THE WAR OUT OF WORDS: LEARNING TO COMMUNICATE WITH NON-DEFENSIVE LANGUAGE”
Speaker: Sharon Strand Ellison, Founder, Institute for Powerful Non-Defensive Communication
Even when using best practices in ADR, clients and other professionals habitually employ reactive and defensive behaviors. Participants will learn significant ways that current ADR prototypes are still systemically rooted in a “war model” for communication. Sharon Ellison will challenge you to make core changes that can greatly enhance your ability to diffuse defensiveness and maximize the potential for more effective communication. Using an interactive process, you will learn a new paradigm for communicating that can prompt people to drop their defenses—often instantly—even in situations involving entrenched and intractable conflicts. The skills learned are applicable for managers, HR personnel, as well as professionals in any capacity.
OCTOBER 7, 2010 - “MEDIATING COMPLEX DISPUTES WITH THE GOVERNMENT: OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES”
Speaker: Kenneth Feinberg - Founder, Managing Partner, Feinberg Rozen, LLP
Mr. Feinberg is one of the nation's leading experts in mediation and alternative dispute resolution (ADR). He was appointed Special Master of the Federal September 11th Victim Compensation Fund of 2001 and the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) Executive Compensation 2009-10 and the Fund Administrator for the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund following the tragic shootings at Virginia Tech University. He was appointed as the BP Escrow Fund Administrator.
Mr. Feinberg has incorporated mediation strategies and ADR principles into the design, implementation, and administration of these high profile and complex programs involving the government. He discusses how ADR processes, principles, and techniques vary when state or local government representatives are at the mediation table.
JUNE 24, 2010 - “AMENDMENTS TO THE REHABILITATION ACT: RECENT TRENDS AND HOW ADR PRINCIPLES MAY HELP TO NAVIGATE THE “REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION INTERACTIVE PROCESS”
Speaker: Sharon Rennert – Senior Attorney Advisor, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
The Rehabilitation Act requires federal agencies to provide reasonable accommodation to employees with disabilities. Ms. Rennert will discuss the legislative amendments to the Rehabilitation Act that became effective in January 2009. Ms. Rennert will talk about how these amendments are being interpreted and their impact on the federal workplace. Ms. Rennert offers her extensive experience and insights about how ADR processes and principles could help managers and employees successfully navigate the new requirements, particularly with respect to accommodations for mental disabilities, under the amended law.