What is Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Conflict is all around us in our daily lives. 

It has the potential for motivating positive, constructive and collaborative change or creating tension, distrust, aggression and even violence if not addressed properly.  How conflict is handled can make all the difference in which direction we take a conflict.
 
The courts provide a structured method of dealing with conflicts, in particular where one party of the conflict refuses to dialogue with the other.  But the legal system is structured in a way that encourages competitive communication intended to convince a higher power (judge or jury) which party's position is closer to what is intended by the law.  Written laws cannot define comprehensively what is 'just' in every situation, and an adversarial legal contest can go a long way to deteriorate relationships which may be required to continue after a specific conflictual incident is resolved.
 
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a term used to describe a number of methods of resolving disputes as alternatives to an adversarial legal process, with the potential for a resolution going beyond what a court can order.  Benefits include preservation of relationships, reductions in cost, and potential savings in time.

Methods of ADR include arbitration, mediation, settlement negotiations, collaborative law,

Managing conflict constructively requires effort from all involved and learning to manage one's own contribution to a conflict can change the dynamic of a conflict.   Conflict coaching and conflict consulting can assist people in learning to manage their own participation in a situation which becomes conflictual.