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Q: What does Informal Dispute Resolution involve?
A: There are many ways to resolve conflicts—surrendering, running away, overpowering your opponent with violence, filing a lawsuit, etc. The movement toward Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), sometimes referred to as informal dispute resolution, grew out of the belief that there are better options than using violence or going to court. Today, the terms ADR and informal dispute resolution are used somewhat interchangeably and refer to a wide range of processes that encourage nonviolent dispute resolution outside of the traditional court system. The field of conflict resolution also includes efforts in schools and communities to reduce violence and bullying and help young people develop communication and problem-solving skills. Common forms of alternative/ informal dispute resolution include:
Negotiation is a discussion among two or more people with the goal reaching an agreement.
Facilitation is generally considered to be a process in which a neutral person helps a group work together more effectively. Facilitators may work with small groups within an organization, or with representatives of different organizations who are working together in a collaborative or consensus-building process.
Q: I have a supervisor that I am having issues with but I'm afraid if I confront them there will be repercussions for doing so. How can I bring up my concerns and not be penalized for it later?
A: This question is difficult to answer without more discussion. How people respond to issues of this nature has a lot to do with who they are, their approach to what may be perceived as conflict as well as the manner in which the concerns are brought to their attention.
Call us at (850) 473-7469 to schedule a confidential appointment. Using alternative dispute resolution processes, we will be happy to assist you with developing a plan of action most likely to lead to positive results for both you and your supervisor.
Q: What steps should I take in order to file a grievance?
A: University students, faculty, or staff interested in resolving complaints or issues informally, as an alternative to formal complaint or grievance filings, should contact the Office for Informal Dispute Resolutions (850) 473-7469.
Formal Grievances or Complaints - Students seeking to file formal grievances should refer to the grievance procedure in the University's Student Handbook. The handbook is available online through the Division of Student Affairs' Website: uwf.edu/StudentAffairs. If, for some reason, online access is not feasible, the Dean of Student's Office should be contacted at (850) 474-2384 for assistance with accessing the Student Grievance Procedure.
UWF employees seeking to file formal grievances should contact the Office of Human Resources at (850) 474-2694.
For additional information or clarification, contact this office at (850) 473-7469.