Handling Conflict Resolution Through a Third-Party Judge

Sometimes, we are just unable to resolve a conflict. This is usually caused by two bullish parties unwilling to collaborate or compromise on an issue. One method of solving this dilemma is to introduce a third-party judge to come in and help discover a viable solution. The judge can do this by relying on one of five conflict resolution strategies: Conciliation, Fact Finding, Recommendation, Mediation, and Arbitration.

Conciliation. Conciliation aims at trying to keep both parties discussing the situation in the hopes that a resolution can be attained. As a conciliator, the third party cannot actually offer a solution or make a final decision. All they can do is keep the discussion going in a friendly and productive manner.

Fact Finding. Fact finding is utilized when both sides disagree over the facts regarding the conflict. For instance, one neighbor may claim that a tree is on his property. However, the other neighbor vehemently denies this assertion. The fact finder would be charged with locating the property line, determining whose lot the tree is really on, and then offering this information to the two parties involved. However, the fact finder is also not allowed to actually offer a solution or make a final decision. Their purpose is simply to clarify the facts.

Recommendation. Recommendation entails a fact finder taking a step further and offering an actual recommendation on how to clarify the conflict. The recommendation must rely entirely on the facts that have been discerned, and nothing else. In addition, neither party is obligated to actually follow the recommendation though.

Mediation. Mediation involves the third party judge acting as a conciliator, and then offering a recommendation for a solution. The mediator discusses the situation with both parties, and then offers them a potential resolution. Once again, both parties are not obligated to follow through on what the mediator suggests. They serve simply as an advisor.

Arbitration. Arbitration is meant for a situation where both parties have become deadlocked in a conflict. They are unable to find any viable solution that would satisfy both parties. The arbitrator comes in and acts as a judge. They listen to the evidence presented by both sides and then make a final decision. Before hearing the evidence, the arbitrator requires that each party to agree to abide by the final ruling. Both parties must follow the ruling no matter what, whether they agree or disagree with it.

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