Participant Stories - ADR

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"The ADR and the Advanced ADR training have been invaluable to me in terms of reaching win/win resolutions using ADR principles rather than traditional adversarial Union/Management approaches."
David Ivany, George Brown College, Toronto, Canada
"I use this training almost everyday as I negotiate my way through the many contacts a principal has with staff, students, parents and School Board personnel. Thank you for a fabulous and very useful program!"
Kathy Wosnick, York Region District School Board, Richmond Hill, Canada
"The ADR Workshop is simply the best program that I have ever taken! It has provided me with skills that support my leadership style! It has also given me a framework for looking at situations in the workplace and in my life to get the best possible results!! I have used my skill set to coach and mentor other managers and staff to success with their issues!! I highly recommend the course to all of my colleagues!!"
Gail Carroll, President, G.M. Carroll and Associates, St. John's, NL, Canada
"I have used my Stitt Feld Handy training to become part of the Internal Mediator Network here at the Canada Revenue Agency. Since taking the training I have used my skill set to advance my career and I am now an Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisor and use my training almost daily. The organization has benefited as we have been implementing Interest Based Negotiation principles for the past few years and the training I received has made that transition more efficient. I hope to continue taking more courses to further enhance my career possibilities. "
Tom Fitzpatrick, Canada Revenue Agency, Ottawa, Canada
"In my day to day job (as a mediator), I am part of the Office Workplace Conflict Management at Public Works and Government Services Canada. Your process is my process and you know what ... It is working and I feel more and more confident thanks to your training."
Richard Berriault, Public Works and Government Services Canada-HRD-Labour Relations, Hull, Canada
"The course was excellent. Working in the Labour Relations field, I was able to use some of the tips and techniques offered in the session as well as in the preparation material. I highly recommend this course to anyone who has to deal with individuals on a day-to-day basis."
Michael LeBlanc, Agriculture Canada, Moncton, Canada
"We effectively used the principles and concepts from the ADR workshops to radically alter our traditional competitive mode of wage and salary negotiations with the Trade Union. Though the Trade Union initially displayed reluctance to engage in the process, and this led to unnecessary and avoidable protraction, they eventually came along and our negotiations were eventually and amicably settled via ADR. Our relationship with the Trade Union has also improved as a result. There is now a greater level of trust for both our groups."
Vernon De Leon, Unilever Caribbean Ltd, Champ Fleur, Trinidad & Tobago
"The information gained from your training has given me the know-how in handling situations which may become confrontational. I am now in a position to deal with people on a level where we can both gain from the situation and I am using this at home as well with the kids. I am also using the new information to negotiate better deals for the organization, since I deal with suppliers and purchasing. I have developed better relationships with suppliers and it is benefiting the organization."
Beryl Homer-Jonhn, Quality Redirect Services Ltd., Morvant, Trinidad & Tobago
"More than twenty members of staff in Beaumont Hospital completed the level 1 workshop in ADR, including representatives of management and trade union activists. On the ground, the most noticeable benefit to the organization was an increased confidence among staff members in negotiation skills and joint-problem solving methods. In short, staff that completed the workshop recognized that there was another way to do things and that they were capable effecting change. On a personal level, the workshop was very inspiring and extremely helpful to my day-to-day work, which involves a good amount of group facilitation work. Negotiation skills also came in handy in my personal life; much fewer fights over the TV remote!!"
Ann Quinn, Beaumont Hospital, Ireland
"The training allowed me the opportunity to develop a mediation service for employees. I have completed in excess of sixty mediations in the past five years. The mediation services are offered as an alternative for parents to resolve issues with the school or the Board. I also utilized the training to develop a training program for new Principals/Managers on using an interest-based approach to resolving conflict in the workplace. Generally, it has contributed significantly to my own personal and professional development and gives credibility to the work I do around conflict resolution."
Donna Rowe, Halifax Regional School Board, Dartmouth, Canada
"The skills/knowledge received at the ADR training was beneficial in my HR role providing advice to clients in respect to improving working relationships and in negotiating settlements to aggrieved issues."
Jean Beharrell, Ontario Power Generation, Bowmanville, Canada
"The Banks Holdings Group has benefited significantly from the training. I've witnessed practical application of the techniques learnt. Personally the training (ADR and Advanced ADR) has enhanced my negotiation and mediation skills. I would recommend this training to top executives and IR and HR professionals."
Candace Browne, Banks Holdings Ltd., St. Michael, Barbados
"I have used it in my personal life and work. Applying the principles taught has helped solve and prevent conflict."
Bezhad Hassanali, Petrotrin, Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago
"A major responsibility of my position is to provide suggestions to employees and managers on conflict resolution. Completion of the training I received through Stitt Feld Handy enables me to fulfill this responsibility more confidently and skillfully. The process, format and agenda help streamline the conversation and enable all participants to come to the table prepared."
Trudy Robson, ScotiaBank, Calgary, Canada
"After taking the ADR courses, our Employee Relations team reviewed our internal conflict resolution programs and determined that we would add another avenue, hence our WIN/WIN Mediation Program was launched. This program has reduced the number of internal grievances we have had. We have also received positive comments from the participants in that they felt more empowered to work out a solution."
Anita Kent, FedEx Canada Ltd., London, Canada
"As a real estate broker, what I learned from the ADR has been useful in many ways, particularly when Buyers and Sellers are at the negotiation stage of a transaction. The course materials and exercises gave me insight and practical set of skills to resolve issues in these negotiations."
John Keevil, Keevil & Company Ltd., Toronto, Canada
"As a consumer Advocate representing consumer interests, I have been better able to understand the conflict and suggest alternative solutions. In my various relationships with others I focus more on how they see the situation. For example, I try to put myself in their shoes, and this helps to avoid and reduce conflict."
Rookia Nurse, Ministry of Legal Affairs, Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago
"I work in an environment where conflict is inevitable. Working with students from many different ethnic and cultural backgrounds can be very challenging, as culture is a definitive variable in understanding and reacting to conflict. The courses at Stitt Feld Handy have helped me better understand conflict and to welcome it as a healthy exercise."
Jean Marc Bouchard, Concordia Student Union, Montreal, QC, Canada
"This training has become a requisite for our Company's HR practitioners. Being in a Unionized environment, I find it useful in dealing with interests challenges."
Grantley Haynes, The Barbados Light & Power Co. Ltd, St. Michael, Barbados
"After I attended your session, I went back to my unit with a new perspective on how differing needs could be met if we worked for win-win solutions. I have since incorporated this structure and these skills into my project related negotiations and I find that achieving buying in has become considerably easier."
Donna Springer, First Caribbean International Bank, St. Lucy, Barbados
"The training has enabled me to better understand the negotiation process. It taught me that there are many elements, which must be taken into consideration during the preparation process. This experience has been translated into better preparation and less confrontational negotiations for the company."
Celeste Foster, ACR Business Services Inc., Bridgetown, Barbados
"In my opinion, because of these training courses I have confidence and skills to successfully mediate Human Rights and non-Human Rights complaints. This has resulted in financial gains for my Employer."
Lynette Budhoo, Canada Post, Toronto, Canada
"I really found the training helpful as I use it every day in the type of job that I do negotiating agreements for child support. The skills I learned help me reach more child support agreements, instead of having the parties appear in court."
Tamara Manuel, Department of Human Resources, Labor & Employment, St. John's, Canada
"The course has assisted in identifying issues in conflicts more accurately and this assists in coming to a quicker resolution. It helped me to realize that not all conflicts can be resolved quickly but if the issues are identified correctly then there can be compromises in the interim."
Kerry-Ann Barrett, Ministry of Labour, Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago
"I teach a university course in Labour Relations which involves a collective bargaining simulation, and a mock arbitration. The skills and knowledge which I have acquired in the ADR course have been particularly valuable in teaching others these very same skills."
Mark Thomas, University of New Brunswick, Fredricton, NB, Canada
"The skills have benefited me both professionally and personally. Recognizing the characteristics of the individuals with whom you hope to come to a resolution and intentionally focusing the conversation forward, understanding how to deal with objections and endeavoring to find a common ground (however small) has been instrumental in any disputes I have encountered. I had two employees who were at loggerheads and one of them really didn't know why. He didn't realize that what he was communicating was not necessarily what he was meaning to communicate. Once the two sat down in my office and I encouraged them to talk about their feelings about one another and how that was affecting their office/professional relationship, they began to understand where the source of their conflict was, which was mostly due to their difference in communication styles. By aligning them as department representatives on some very basic projects I thought they could possibly grow to respect each other's unique skills and abilities. It worked and their office relationship began to take on a positive twist. It's still not perfect but it has improved by leaps and bounds."
Colleen Hannigan, Corporation of the Town of Huntsville, Huntsville, ON, Canada
"By feeling more confident and comfortable in dispute situations because of the structure and process of the ADR format from your courses, I have been able to be more productive. I believe my relationships with the people and groups that I deal with has resulted in people recognizing my sincere desire to work to solutions that are fair and reasonable for all concerned.

When I took the two ADR courses I was already functioning as a mediator in a number of areas of work. The course confirmed some of my way of working, and gave me a good feel for the process with new skills to use. I presently receive between 250 to 300 complaints a year to resolve, mostly around residential tenancy issues, and we are able to resolve about 80% of these without formal hearings, presentation of evidence, and adjudication. Saves time and money and people feel as if they are contributing to the solution and save face.

In one residential tenancies case, I heard a complaint from social housing that the tenants had damaged their unit, owed a fair amount of money for these damages, and were behind in their rent. When I met the couple, I found that they were elderly and were looking after four or five adult children living in the same house, and a few grandchildren. One or two of these adult children had few skills and I believe were handicapped. They were all living in the same house and had been in that house for some time.

I decided not to settle the problem at the hearing but to meet with all of the family at their home. I believed the elderly couple needed some help in engaging their adult children in helping to solve the problem. I met with most of the family as well as the landlord for about two hours. I explained that their parents owed a lot of money, and a good part of this was because of their destructive behavior over the years. The goal was to have a peaceful and pleasant place to live and to support their parents in the later part of their life. The adult children believed this, and began to volunteer to paint the house, one agreed to plaster the holes in the wall, another agreed to paint the outside of the house and another agreed to work for the housing association painting garbage bins in the town in return for credit towards their debts. One volunteered to enlist in Income Support in order to get the monthly rent paid on time each month so the family would not go further into debt. The landlord/housing association agreed to this plan.

One month later I followed up on the progress and the plan had been implemented, was still being honored, and the elderly parents were very happy and proud with the results. So was the landlord."
Bill Riddell, Fair Practices Officer, Govt. of Nunavut, Iqaluit, NU, Canada
"So far, I have used the training to assist in situations where disputes between the employer and employee occur (an example being meetings for developing return to work plans for employees)."
James Williamson, Workplace Safety & Insurance Board, Toronto, Canada
"I am pleased to say your training, has enabled me to provide a more confident approach to problem solving issues with management on various joint committees. More importantly, with the tools provided to me through your training, I am able to represent our members, clearly seeing the issues at hand, then with confidence work through them for the best possible outcome for everyone involved."
Patricia Doogan, Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, Wroxter, Canada
"It has been useful in my ongoing dealings with the unions. It has helped me to step back and look at the true interests of the union as well as my own."
Michael Sereda, Thames District School Board, London, Canada
"Negotiation and dispute resolution are not abstract, academic theories. They are practical, basic management skills that are applicable, and necessary, no matter what field or what level of management in which you work. Like all skills, however, they are best learned by practice and experience. The ADR workshop allows for a learning experience in which skills can be practiced in a controlled environment, in realistic simulations, with immediate feedback from experienced instructors. I found it particularly useful in raising self-awareness as to my own negotiating style and how I might improve. The skills have benefited me both professionally and personally. Recognizing the characteristics of the individuals with whom you hope to come to a resolution and intentionally focusing the conversation forward, understanding how to deal with objections and endeavoring to find a common ground (however small) has been instrumental in any disputes I have encountered."
Julia Schmidt, Bank of Montreal, Toronto, ON, Canada
"I have been using the BATNA concept in most of negotiations since the training with Stitt Feld Handy Group. It definitely has provided me with a structure and with a concept to follow in my mediating and negotiating process. It has been quite useful."
Paul Stefow, Hatch Mott McDonald, Mississauga, Canada
"The courses have helped me immensely in my current position. I am a Labour Relations Representative within a CAW manufacturing plant. My day-to-day interaction is with my business partners and the CAW. Since I've taken the ADR training I am able to negotiate and mediate on a more professional, proactive level."
Sue Tyndall, Nemak Canada, Windsor, Canada
"Working in a unionized environment it is not always possible to try innovative methods of resolving problems to reach a mutually amicable solution. However, I try where possible to apply the principles learnt as a form of methodology to reach agreeable solutions and at the same time try to impart some of my knowledge to the managers and supervisors within the Company."
Gracelyn Daniel, Barbados Bottling Co. Ltd., Christ Church, Barbados
"I use the skills on a day to day basis. My job requires that I try and reach a mediated solution off the mark as opposed to going the full investigation route. I try to reach a quick resolution when possible that will satisfy both parties."
Juanita Dwyer, Office of Citizens' Representative, St. John's, Canada
"Several senior employees have attended your courses on ADR and Advanced ADR and the training has assisted employees in handling conflicts at work and they have utilised the skill set learnt to good effect. We are a non-unionized workplace and we strive to avoid conflicts or nip them in the early stages. We are seeing good results to date as these skills are utilised on a daily basis. We plan to make this workshop a permanent part of our supervisory and leadership training program."
Sunil Rampersad, Atlantic LNG, Port Fortin, Trinidad & Tobago
"In a disciplinary grievance involving medication error where the employer was suspending the employee who had no previous problems in 21 years, I used the interests-based approach and was successful in getting a better outcome for the employee. I presented data from regulatory body on how to deal with these types of errors and showed how all parties needs where met by using this less punitive approach. The process actually seemed to improve the relationship with the employer because I didn't use the old argumentative style. The employer actually changed medication delivery system to decrease the chance of this they of error happening again. A big step to get them to admit they could also change something to help and not just ‘blame the employee'."
Rob Rupert, Ontario Nurses' Association, Thunder Bay, ON, Canada
"The ADR workshops have allowed me to add new skills to the Employee Relations side of my responsibilities. When mediating disputes with employees I have gone back and reviewed course material to ensure I am using the best possible methods to come up with potential solutions to benefit all."
Sandra Rooney, Henry Schein Ash Acrona, Toronto, Canada
"I feel much more confident in my ability to help staff deal with conflict between each other. Because of this, I feel I am a better leader. I have used the mediation skills to elicit more information from staff concerning particular problems. For example, I now ask many more questions, attempting to find out what the real issues are behind the problem we are discussing. Thank you for that!"
Janice Wilmont, Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, Chatham, ON, Canada
"After having participated in the Advanced ADR training offered by the Stitt Feld Handy Group, I felt much better prepared to lead the grievance mediation process."
Susan Rumsey, Health Care Corporation of St. John's, St.John's, Canada
"I have implemented in-house mediation services to our external advisor base - a no charge benefit for everyone."
Paige Wadden, Assante Advisory Services, Toronto, Canada