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  • Tuesday, January 28, 2020 12:25 PM | Anonymous

    We are living in a busy and hectic world where the demands on our time and attention seem to be ever increasing.  Online communication has replaced a lot of face to face communication. Some of us are starting to feel a little out of practice when it comes to nurturing our interpersonal relationships.  One of the key aspects of face to face communication is about listening well. This brings up the question: How can I be a better listener?

    To listen effectively, you need to listen with your entire mind. If you are thinking about your experience, of how you might respond, counter, or argue what is being said, or judging and appraising the statements before the speaker is even finished, you are not listening.  But becoming a more effective listener isn’t only about what not to do.  Take the following list for example. For every DON’T there is a DO!

    Don't resist ideas, even if they are of no personal interest. Instead, get curious! Accept that the message is important even if it arrives in a form that you don’t like or comes from someone you don’t like. 

    Don't daydream or fake attention. Do give your full attention. Put your thoughts and judgments aside. Only when your focus is on the speaker are you truly engaged in listening.

    Don't avoid difficult material. Instead, dig deep and stay in the "muck". Recognize that conversations are not just for the transfer of information.

    Don't tolerate or create distractions. Do resist and reduce distractions. Put your phone away, find a comfortable and quite space, periodically summarize in your head, etc. 

    Don't recreate negative past experiences. Instead, shift from past to present to future. You cannot move forward if you are stuck in the past.

    Don't deflect and change topic or return to a safe topic when feelings are brought out. Do normalize emotions; say what you observe to go beyond the words, state your own emotions, check that you are understanding feelings correctly.

    Don't let your emotions rule you. Use techniques to keep yourself calm like taking some deep breaths, taking a break, taking a walk, or sticking to observable facts.

    Don't let bias or prejudice interfere. Stay open and encourage openness from the person you are communicating with. Suspend judgement. Check your assumptions. Seek to understand, even if you don’t like what you hear. Avoid a personal interpretation and listen to what the speaker is really saying. Verify that the message has been received in the way that the sender intended.

    Don't fail to state or acknowledge your feelings. Instead, use the "name it to tame it" approach. Stating your emotions out loud can reduce their intensity and normalize emotions in a heated conversation.

    Don't fail to use non-verbal information. Do pay attention to what is not being said. Only 7% of our communication is verbal. Use welcoming and open body language, read the body language of the other. Show that you are interested and paying attention.

    DON’T worry, you don’t have to incorporate every single DO to be a better listener. By just incorporating one or two, you will already be a better listener.  No pressure, remember, the goal is to understand.

    If you'd like to remember these tips, you can print them out as a full infographic from the file below:

    [Download as PDF]

  • Saturday, January 25, 2020 2:39 PM | Anonymous

    The February ADR Luncheon topic is:

    The Impact of Family Conflict on Children

    Children exposed to conflict at home are damaged.  Their brains, endocrine systems and DNA telomeres are impacted permanently. This damage is associated with their futures as adults, and the damage is passed along to their offspring. Family conflict is a key contributor of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE). Our February luncheon speaker will provide insights and resources that everyone invested in the welfare of their children (or grandchildren) should be aware of.

    Why should mediators and/or arbitrators care?

    How should lawyers, mediators and arbitrators take this into account in their practice?

    Our Speaker: The Honourable Andrea B. Moen

    Andrea Moen was appointed to the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench on January 1, 2000 and retired from that position in October 2018. As a judge she heard many family law cases and became concerned about the impact of family conflict on the brain development of children. Her concern led her to a study leave focused on brain science.

    Ms. Moen has a Masters of Social Work from the University of British Columbia and a Certificate in Conflict Resolution from the Justice Institute of British Columbia.

    Tuesday, February 11
    11:30 AM to 1:15 PM

    [Details & Registration]

    Thursday, February 13
    11:30 AM to 1:15 PM

    [Details & Registration]

  • Wednesday, January 15, 2020 11:32 AM | Anonymous

    You asked and we listened! 

    We heard your feedback for the need for basic conflict resolution training at an affordable cost.

    Our team came together and designed a new series of courses to meet that need.

    Introducing the Approaching Conflict with Confidence series!

    See the entire series: Approaching Conflict with Confidence.

    Understanding Conflict 

    When we understand conflict (what it is, its value, where it comes from, and tools available), we are better equipped to do something about it and approach it more confidently. This one day course will develop your interpersonal skills and give you easy-to-use tools to approach conflict more confidently and effectively. 

    Learn More

    Managing Conflict

    In this course students will learn the importance of separating the person from the problem and skills that will help them discover previously unimagined possibilities for resolution. This interactive and applied training is designed to get students applying key concepts and practicing conflict management skills, so students will be able to start applying their new skills.

    Learn More

    Assertive Expression

    This course is designed to give you greater confidence and skill in asserting your ideas, thoughts, and needs. Students will have more skills for using assertive communication effectively and will be more confident using these skills in their daily lives, as well as in conflict. 

    Learn More

    Conflict Skills for Bullying Behaviour

    This course is designed to build an understanding of bullying (relational aggression) from macro, meso, and micro levels.  Managers, supervisors, HR, and employees will have a better understanding of bullying, and what to do about it in the moment and after the fact.

    Learn More

  • Friday, December 13, 2019 2:29 PM | Sandra ADRIA Membership (Administrator)

    The Importance of Conflict Management Skills in Business

    Written by: Kristy Rhyason

    When you run a business, relationship and conflict management is just part of the job. Conflict will arise in any workplace, but how that conflict is handled can either build relationships or disintegrate them.Strong conflict management skills become crucial for business owners.

    Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) practices are based on interest-based communications skills that can effectively diffuse workplace conflict and enhance workplace culture.

    We spoke with Chuck Smith, an HR Professional with a distinguished 40-year career with 36 of those years being at Syncrude Canada Ltd. Chuck has retired and is an independent contractor in Edmonton. Chuck has worked hard to raise the influence of conflict management training and skills within the field of Human Resources.

    He is the Past President of the ADR Institute of Alberta (ADRIA), and has served on the Board of Directors for both ADRIA and ADR Canada for most of the past decade. Chuck also influenced the formation of an ADR Certificate Program for HR Professionals in Alberta.

    Through professional development training, Chuck realized the importance of conflict management skills. He saw a clear difference in how he could effectively approach and diffuse workplace conflict as an HR professional.

    During my ADR training I could understand how my approach and intervention with workplace conflict had many flaws. While good intentions and my natural communication skills that drew me to the HR field were always there, my ability to be effective in resolving disputes was lacking. I can honestly say, as a result of my ADR training the employees, management and my employer have been better served.”

    His skills as an HR professional improved and he saw growth in key competencies.

    “It took a while but with time, perseverance and practice I have become very comfortable using what I learned in my ADR training. Some of the more helpful competencies include asking probing questions at the appropriate time, paraphrasing, reflecting feelings, empathizing appropriately, reframing and listening to understand. All are critical competencies in HR.

    When conflict arises, Chuck has a fresh perspective on how to approach the situation.

    “My first priority is to seek to understand before being understood. Helping others feel heard has opened many difficult relationships and allowed for increasing my effectiveness at resolving workplace disputes for others as well as my own.

    Not only did Chuck see the change he could create in resolving interpersonal conflict, but he also realized how the bigger picture of how his organization manages conflict could change.

    While the company I worked for recognized the value in using ADR to resolve disputes, the company policy did not contain clear instruction on the use of ADR. This is a huge area of opportunity for organizations to significantly improve their ability to have a respectful, attractive workplace.”

    When reflecting on the training he received, Chuck observed that it not only made him better at his job as an HR professional, but impacted all of his relationships.

    “My ADR training helped me improve my communication skills. I am better able to clearly understand others interests and ensure I am heard and they understand my interest. This has gone a long way to improve my effectiveness at resolving differences at work and at home.

    Conflict management training can round out the skill set of business administrators and add to more harmonious workplaces and personal lives.

    Kristy Rhyason is the Manager of Marketing and Communications at the ADR Institute of Alberta. Chuck Smith is an independent HR contractor in Edmonton.

  • Wednesday, October 09, 2019 12:01 PM | Anonymous

    Celebrate Conflict Resolution Day on October 17 with workshops, luncheons, networking, & other events across Alberta all week!

    There is still time to plan your own Conflict Resolution Day event in your community! An event can be large or small, private or public; anything that gets people talking about the options and benefits that ADR can offer. You can find a list of event ideas on the Conflict Resolution Day website.

    f you do host an event in celebration of Conflict Resolution Day, please let them know. Add your event to the Events page, or send an email to

    Our Conflict Resolution Day Events

    ADRIA Fall Networking Event

    Thursday Oct 17th 5:00pm - 8:00pm
    Central Social Hall, 10909 Jasper Ave

    We are pleased to re-introduce our Networking events this fall with our first to be held at Central Social Hall in Edmonton in celebration of Conflict Resolution Week. Please plan to take advantage of this networking opportunity and bring your colleagues and guests.

    The event is free, appetizers will be provided and a cash bar is available.

    We look forward to seeing you there!

    [Registration & Details]

    Conflict Resolution Day Pop Up At Bankers Hall in Calgary

    Thursday Oct 17th 12:30pm to 2:30pm
    A Dose of Happiness, Banker's Hall
    (3rd floor, across from the food court)

    Join us at Banker's Hall in Calgary for a Pop Up Conflict Resolution Day event! Don Schapira will present at 1pm on Defusing Conflict at Work and at Home. Bring your lunch or grab a snack at the food court and come by for some networking before and after the presentation!

    Defusing Conflict at Work and at Home

    Bring a client, colleague or family member to lunch! ADRIA and the FOAJ will celebrate Conflict Resolution Day 2019 by hosting this year’s public discussion topic, as generated by the Alberta Conflict Resolution Day Committee*.

    ADRIA members Don Schapira (Calgary) and Cecile Schultz (Edmonton) will lead our luncheon attendees through a fun, practical one-hour workshop that will give participants a communication tool they can immediately put to use, and that our members can incorporate into their own practice and training delivery. Register now for this networking and professional development opportunity, and bring a guest.

    Tuesday, October 15, 2019
    11:30 AM - 1:15 PM

    Danish Canadian Club
    727-11th Avenue SW
    [Details & Registration]

    Wednesday, October 16, 2019
    11:30 AM - 1:15 PM

    Buffet Royale - West
    17202 95 Ave NW
    [Details & Registration]

    * The Alberta Conflict Resolution Day Committee is a Government of Alberta / Non-profit partnership representing dispute resolution interests from all over the province. Since 2007 we have been providing resources and support to dispute resolution professionals, organizations and the public to host events and activities celebrating Conflict Resolution Day - an international event held annually on the third Thursday of every October. Learn more about Conflict Resolution Day and how you can register an event or activity by visiting

    Other Conflict Resolution Day Events


    Free Workshop: Defusing Conflict at Work and at Home

    Join in one of the free workshops across the province! This year’s topic for Conflict Resolution Day is “Defusing Conflict at Work and at Home.” Learn some strategies for defusing conflict, including how to deal with triggers, emotional reactions, the difference between positions and interests, real active listening skills and questions you can use to defuse.

    Fri Oct 11th 2:00pm - 3:30pm
    Signal Hill Library, 5994 Signal Hill Centre SW
    [More Details]

    Wed Oct 16th 3:30pm - 5:00pm
    Nose Hill Library, 1530 Northmount Dr NW
    [More Details]

    Thu Oct 17th 9:30am or 1:30pm
    Grande Prairie
    Courthouse Mediation Room, 10260 99 St
    [More Details]

    Thu Oct 17th 12:00pm - 1:30pm
    Kingsway Mall, 109 St and Princess Elizabeth Ave NW
    [More Details]

    Fri Oct 18th 2:00pm - 3:30pm
    Crowfoot Library, 8665 Nose Hill Dr NW
    [More Details]

    Sat Oct 19th 1:00pm - 2:30pm
    Seton Library, 4995 Market St SE
    [More Details]


    Lighting Up Our Bridges for Conflict Resolution Day

    On Thursday, Oct 17th the Edmonton High Level Bridge & the Calgary Reconcilliation Bridge will be lit in celebration of International Conflict Resolution Day.


    Conflict Resolution Info Fair

    Thursday Oct 17th 10:00am - 2:00pm
    Kingsway Mall

    Swing by Kingsway Mall between 10:00am and 2:00pm to check out the different dispute resolution services offered in the province. Get your questions answered and maybe leave with some free swag!

    You can also sign up for a free "Defusing Conflict at Work and at Home" workshop offered in the same location from noon to 1:00pm. Register at


    Conflict Resolution Day Proclaimation - City of Edmonton

    Thursday Oct 17th 11:00am - 11:15am
    Kingsway Mall

    Communities around Alberta join together to celebrate Conflict Resolution Day. We recognize that conflict is part of life, and that it is not the conflict but how we handle it that matters. Conflict Resolution Day is an opportunity to educate ourselves about how to prevent and manage disputes effectively, and to raise awareness about all the conflict resolution services available to citizens across the province.

    Check out the Full Listing of Conflict Resolution Day Activities!

  • Tuesday, September 03, 2019 2:20 PM | Sandra ADRIA Membership (Administrator)

    It's that time of year again!

    Applications are accepted until September 30th for Qualified Mediator (Q.Med), Chartered Mediator (C.Med), Qualified Arbitrator (Q.Arb) and Chartered Arbitrator (C.Arb). Make sure to include reference letters, transcripts, supervised mock mediation forms, etc. 

    We require three weeks notice to schedule your C.Med Skills Assessment or Q.Med Supervised Mock Mediation so contact to book your spot. 
    For more information:

    The next application window will be in March 2020.

    If you have any questions, please email Sandra at

  • Thursday, July 25, 2019 7:55 PM | Anonymous
  • Tuesday, June 25, 2019 11:15 AM | Sandra ADRIA Membership (Administrator)

    He was a retired professor with an immaculate backyard.

    Across the fence was a young junk collector. Or at least, that’s what the professor saw. Actually, you could better describe the younger one as a hustler, a street-smart guy making money as he could.

    But the stage was set anyway: Spiteful words. Bylaw called. More than once. It was spiralling out of control.

    “Eventually, they were at the point where they were shovelling snow into each other’s yards just to escalate,” said Peter Windel, the volunteer mediator the City of Edmonton called in to help. This was too much for a bylaw officer to handle.

    I went for coffee with Windel recently, curious about his role in a society that prefers lawyers to mediators. He runs a struggling non-profit doing incredible work in local neighbourhoods.

    With just a $50,000 grant last year, the Mediation and Restorative Justice Centre accepted more than 400 referrals from city staff and 311 operators. In 176 cases, they gave coaching or intensive mediation to change hearts and bring healing.

    Read Full Article Here

  • Monday, June 03, 2019 2:31 PM | Anonymous

    The ADR Institute of Canada is calling for nominees for the Lionel J. McGowan Awards of Excellence in Dispute Resolution.
    The awards are named in recognition and honour of Lionel J. McGowan, the first Executive Director of the Arbitrators’ Institute of Canada. The presentation of the McGowan Awards will take place during the ADRIC 2019 Conference in Victoria, British Columbia, November 20-22, 2019
    There are two awards to bestow: one for outstanding regional contributions and one for outstanding national contributions.
    Nominations will be accepted until Friday, August 2, 2019. You are encouraged to submit nominations at any time prior to this date.

    Please send nominations in the form of a letter explaining why you feel your nominee should be recognized and highlighting the nominee’s specific contributions, to the McGowan Nomination Committee at the ADR Institute’s national office, by fax or email.

    Fax: 416-901-4736

  • Thursday, May 30, 2019 2:30 PM | Anonymous

    Have ideas for professional development training you’d like to see at ADRIA? 

    We are looking for suggestions for upcoming one-day professional development training sessions targeting experienced mediators and/or arbitrators. Submit a brief proposal of no more than 300 words, including an explanation of the specifics of the training and why it would benefit ADR professionals. The person whose suggestion we use, will win the training for free! If more than one member submits the same idea then a draw will be held for the free training.
    Submit your ideas to by June 24th.

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