Contract disputes take up time and money for everyone involved. Adding a Dispute Resolution clause to your contracts is the best way to protect against litigation costs.
There are many ADR processes that can be used to resolve a disagreement quickly and fairly, including mediation and arbitration.
Making ADRIA’s Select and Appoint process a recommended or mandatory method of selecting a dispute resolution process and professional is an effective way to save time and money in the event a contract is in dispute.
Sample Dispute Resolution Clause:
In the event that a dispute or misunderstanding should occur between the parties regarding this contract or either party’s contractual obligations, it is agreed that the ADR Institute of Alberta’s (ADRIA) Select and Appoint process will be used to choose and hire an ADR professional to facilitate a dispute resolution process, should direct negotiations fail.
The ADR Institute of Canada also offers National Arbitration Rules and National Mediation Rules, including a sample contract clause, to help establish clear rules for effective dispute resolution processes.
Part of a Non-Profit?
This recording is from our January 21, 2021, ADR Luncheon Webinar
Graham Singh offers his many years of personal experience with the re-purposing of historic churches and urban architecture into shared use community and business hubs. In tackling such projects, he has encountered many conflict situations – often deeply entrenched and linked to identity.
Can you mix congregations and circus performers?
Can a church building host different faiths, each seeking their own spiritual accommodations?
Where do spiritual, business and cultures interests collide, and what lessons can we learn from the often difficult conversations that ensue.
Graham offers some unique insights into the hard conversations that must be embraced if a lasting accommodation is to be reached, and the lessons learned here can be applied in many settings.
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. You are not listening 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. 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!
Do’s and Don’ts to Practice to Become a Better Listener
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.
Give Your Full Attention
Don’t daydream or fake attention. Do give your full attention. Put your thoughts and judgments aside. You are only truly engaged in listening when your focus is on the speaker.
Dig Deep and Stay in the “Muck”
Don’t avoid difficult material. Instead, dig deep and stay in the “muck”. Recognize that conversations are not just for the transfer of information.
Resist and Reduce Distractions
Don’t tolerate or create distractions. Do resist and reduce distractions. Put your phone away, find a comfortable and quiet space, periodically summarize in your head, etc.
Shift from Past to Present to Future
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.
When feelings are brought out, don’t deflect and change topic or return to a safe topic. 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.
Stay Open & Suspend Judgement
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.
“Name it to Tame it”
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.
Pay Attention to What is Not Being Said
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.
Practice Makes Perfect
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 files below.
Letter size (8.5×11) works, Legal size (8.5×14) is even better.
[Download PDF – Letter Size]
[Download PDF – Legal Size]
Enjoy this recording from our December 16, 2020 ADR Luncheon Webinar
In these unprecedented times when nothing is as it once was, it may be hard to remember what happiness feels like.
Our brains are wired to contemplate the worst-case scenarios and watching the news or Covid-19 update can reinforce this impending sense of doom.
We can learn ways to mourn what was and cannot be again, and find a path to a different kind of happy. It can be hard to find joy, to notice what makes us feel good and grounded and safe.
Check out the recording below from our latest luncheon to help find some moments of light amid the darkness.
Presenter: Tara Livingston
Tara Livingston is a professional mediator, relationship coach and enthusiastic public speaker. A retired Anglican Priest, she earned her master’s degree in divinity from Trinity College at the University of Toronto with a focus on pastoral counseling, grief care and inter-faith dialogue. In addition to divorce mediation, she offers marriage preparation classes for couples about to embark on a new life journey. Tara is committed to guiding couples and families toward maintaining healthy relationships at their beginning, middle and end. As a parent of two resilient young men, she has a special passion for helping children to thrive during and after challenging times.
As a presenter, Tara uses stories from her considerable professional and personal experience and legendary humour to inspire audiences of all kinds.
The ADR Institute of Alberta (ADRIA) receives many calls and referrals from the public in regard to Societies, Non-profits, and Charities that are experiencing conflict. Whenever both sides of a conflict are obligated or willing to come together and discuss their issues, ADRIA is often in a position to assist.
ADRIA’s online Directory, or any of our referral processes, connects people in conflict to an ADR professional who can offer mediation, arbitration, or other dispute resolution processes. ADRIA members can also help organizations with new bylaws or mechanisms to prevent and resolve future conflict.
Unfortunately, many organizations do not have robust conflict management options incorporated into their existing bylaws, and the provincial government does not offer any enforcement resources. Article 9 of the Societies Act does not specify a requirement to include bylaws regarding dispute resolution, although article 22 suggest a provision for arbitration. Alberta’s Corporate Registry states on its website that “Societies must be prepared to resolve their own internal disputes”, and that it “does not supervise the conduct of societies, nor does it provide a counselling service”. In regard to internal disputes, “Corporate Registry recommends the adoption of a bylaw that outlines a mediation or arbitration procedure.” For this reason, calls to Service Alberta and Central Registry are usually referred to ADRIA or other community mediation resources.
Too often ADRIA is contacted by only one party or concerned member, and there is no opportunity to include the second party in any form of dispute resolution. ADRIA is not mandated or authorized to contact a second party, unless there are bylaw provisions that mandate mediation or arbitration.
To facilitate more effective dispute resolution processes, a clause can be added to the society bylaws. For example, a clause might read:
X.1 Any dispute regarding the affairs of (the society) will be resolved by:
a. Direct negotiation between the parties, with or without assistance and/or facilitation. If resolution is not achieved, then by:
b. Mediation conducted pursuant to ADR Canada’s Code of Conduct for Mediators, or to mediation practices agreed upon by the parties. If resolution is not achieved, then by:
c. Arbitration conducted pursuant to the Arbitration Act of Alberta, or to arbitration practices agreed upon by the parties, and the decision will bind all parties.
X.2 The language of any dispute resolution process shall be (English).
X.3 Dispute Resolution resources, including referrals for mediation and arbitration, may be available from the ADR Institute of Alberta (ADRIA) at www.adralberta.com or 780-433-4881.
Many parties contacting ADRIA are not even able to secure a copy of the bylaws or contact the current officers of the society. Confirmation that a society remains in good standing, their bylaws, current officers, and annual reports are all available at any authorized Registry office in Alberta for a small fee. Reviewing these is often a good first step in resolving any conflict, particularly if the bylaws include any provision for dispute resolution. Obviously if any criminal activity is suspected, notably theft or fraud, then local police services should be contacted without delay.
Other Resources for Resolving Conflict in Non-Profits
Alberta’s Ministry of Culture & Tourism provides significant Board and Community Development resources, although they do not provide counselling or dispute resolution services . ADRIA is working closely with Service Alberta, Alberta Culture and Community Mediation groups to enhance the on-line and in-person resources that these organizations provide to the public.
Some areas of the province have community mediation programs that can reach out and offer assistance to both parties, and these resources are often provided to not-for-profit groups free of charge.
As you may remember, our June Luncheon featured Ry Moran, founding Director of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation in Winnipeg
On November 25, 2020, the Canadian Club of Edmonton hosted Ry Moran, now inaugural Associate University Librarian (Reconciliation) at the University of Victoria for an engaging and informative presentation on the work of Truth & Reconciliation broadly underway across the country.
Watch the recording below to learn from Ry as he shares his extensive first-hand experience on the transformative steps underway in Canada, including how to confront and act upon some of the most troubling elements of our collective history together.
Ry Moran is Canada’s inaugural Associate University Librarian (Reconciliation) at the University of Victoria. Ry’s role within UVic Libraries’ focuses on building and sustaining relationships to introduce Indigenous approaches and knowledge into the daily work of the Libraries and more broadly across the campus community. In so doing, Ry plays an active role in advancing UVic’s strategic goal of being a globally recognized leader in areas of reconciliation.
Ry came to this position from the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (NCTR) hosted by the University of Manitoba. As the founding director, Ry guided the creation of the NCTR from its inception. Along the way, Ry contributed to major national initiatives such as the creation of the National Student Memorial Register, designation of multiple residential schools as national historical sites, development and launch of the Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada, and a major educational broadcast which reached over three million Canadians.
Prior to the NCTR, Ry served with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC). On the TRC’s behalf, he facilitated the gathering of nearly 7,000 video/audio-recorded statements of former residential school students and millions of pages archival records.
National Indigenous Peoples Day is a day for all Canadians to recognize and celebrate the unique heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding contributions of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. The Canadian Constitution recognizes these three groups as Aboriginal peoples, also known as Indigenous peoples.
In honour of National Indigenous Peoples Day, take part in one of the many events happening online, check out some reading lists or visit a museum virtually!
You can also watch the recording of our June 2020 ADR Luncheon Webinar linked below.
Watch Ry Moran, Director of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation discuss the important work of this organization.