The Office of Personnel Management’s guide to handling

workplace disputes, “Alternative Dispute Resolution

Techniques and Agency Practices,” can be an important

resource for supervisors faced with resolving conflicts in

the workplace.

The guide provides information on agency ADR programs,

beginning with a summary of the most common ADR techniques

used in the federal government. Binding Arbitration, it says,

is the presentation of a dispute to a neutral individual or

panel in order to arrive at a decision that both parties,

will be held to with the force of law, but without resulting

in a legal precedent. ADR has been gaining wide use among agencies.

Interest-based problem solving, as the guide explains, is a

technique to arrive at a solution in such a way that

strengthens the relationship between the parties involved and

generally means looking at an impasse in abstract terms so as

to make it easier for those involved to take a distanced

approach and reach an objective solution.

Settlement conferences, are settled by a judge or referee (or

some such mediator) in front of representatives of each party

in order to arrive at a mutually agreed upon settlement, the

guide says. Summaries of other common ADR techniques may be

viewed online.