Conflicts are bound to happen, particularly in the workplace and business dealings. Knowing the various dispute resolution methods better equips business leaders to handle conflicts, which in turn saves time, money, effort as well as stress.


When it comes to solving conflicts, this is one of the most straightforward approaches. Negotiation involves communicating and compromising between the conflicting parties. Time and financial costs are usually minimal as negotiation doesn’t require any outside influence. However, it can prove to be ineffective sometimes, as it’s not as robust compared to other dispute resolution forms. It’s only effective when both parties are willing to find an acceptable compromise. So, if one party isn’t willing to do so, or there’s bitterness, then negotiation fails to be a viable option.


This is the involvement of a mediator to create an environment that’s ideal for communication and problem solving between the parties that are conflicting. Including a professional mediator not only creates a forum for ideal communication but fosters a better understanding for both parties.

Mediation calls for a lot of time with strong opinions and emotional tensions potentially slowing the process even further.

In order to get the best results, the mediator needs to have a comprehensive understanding of every aspect and potential conflict ramification. This means they need to create a rapport with the parties involved, thus instilling a shared belief that a resolution can be reached.

Settlement Conference

Here, a judge is appointed to take on the negotiation proceedings. This form of conflict resolution is advantageous as the moderator is likely to be respected by both parties. However, the recommendation by the judge is ideally non-binding and can be disregarded. Also, the process required more time and finances compared to other settlement options, particularly if the proceeding drags on.

Natural Evaluation

This form of dispute resolution works by bringing an involved person to evaluate the situation and give an unbiased means of resolving the conflict. Allowing an outside perspective creates new ideas that both parties may not have considered before.

However, the recommendations made are non-binding and don’t really force action or ascertain resolution.

Informal Dispute Resolution

Just like neutral evaluation, the conflict is reviewed by a hearing officer, who then provides a non-binding decision. The hearing officer essentially offers recommendations after a proper consideration of the pertinent facts. However, the parties aren’t obligated to take the recommended action.

The involved parties submit written statements prior to the hearing, from which the hearing officer reaches a verdict.