Mediation, Negotiation, Arbitration and Consultation in times of conflict and change.


Mediation is a process wherein the parties meet with a mutually selected impartial and neutral person who assists them in the negotiation of their differences. Our approach to mediation leaves the decision power totally and strictly with the parties. The mediator does not decide what is "fair" or "right," does not assess blame nor render an opinion on the merits or chances of success if the case were litigated. Rather, the mediator acts as a catalyst between opposing interests attempting to bring them together by defining issues and eliminating obstacles to communication, while moderating and guiding the process to avoid confrontation and ill will. The mediator will, however, seek concessions from each side during the mediation process. At the outset of a mediation process, the mediator may well seek agreement from the parties to forbear from litigation during the mediation process and to hold everything that is said in the various sessions confidential and not deemed an admission or used against any party in any other proceeding if mediation fails. Mediation generally begins with a joint session to set an agenda, define the issues and ascertain the position and/or concerns of the parties. This allows the parties to attack the resolution process either on an issue-by-issue or group-by-group basis. The joint session is then followed by a separate caucus between the mediator and each individual party or their counsel. This allows each side to explain and enlarge upon their position and mediation goals in confidence. It also gives the mediator an opportunity to ask questions which may well serve to create doubt in an advocate's mind over the validity of a particular position. 


Negotiation is when two or more parties formally meet to reach an agreement on a matter of mutual concern. Structured negotiations usually take one of two forms: parties engage their own negotiators to bargain for their respective positions, or all parties agree on a neutral negotiator to ensure discussions remain relevant, cordial and timely. Negotiations may or may not include legal counsel (although this is usually recommended), and while conflict is generally present, negotiating agreements or contracts often involves friendly parties working together to prevent and mitigate any future conflict. Anyone can negotiate his or her position, we do this everyday; but most attempts at negotiation often result in arguments. Structured negotiation is a highly advanced skill, and trained negotiators utilize a variety of styles and tools to successfully bargain for an optimal result, while keeping the conversation civil. Examples of when a negotiator is recommended include: Entering into business agreements or contracts; buying, selling, merging, downsizing; or collective bargaining.


Disputes taken to court are settled by judges who, while experts in law, may or may not have subject matter expertise in the particular area of dispute. Arbitration allows the parties to choose the arbitrator, whether they be a specific person or someone with a required level of expertise, and agree in advance to be bound by their decision. Because both parties are working together to set mutually-acceptable terms, arbitration also has the potential for flexibility, in that both parties may wish to suspend the arbitration in favor of mediation or facilitated negotiation. Once an arbitrator has been agreed upon and documents have been shared, hearings begin. At the hearings, which can be formal or informal, both parties have the opportunity to present evidence, opening and closing statements, and cross-examine witnesses. The rules of evidence usually apply in arbitration, as opposed to other forms of dispute resolution, such as mediation, and the arbitrator(s) has the ability to dismiss or prioritize evidence as they see fit. The arbitrator then imposes a decision that is often legally binding and not appealable to the courts, and in rare cases where an appeal is heard, courts generally uphold the arbitrator’s ruling. Because courts are public forums, information about your business and personal affairs becomes public knowledge available to others. Arbitration, on the other hand, is almost always conducted in private and only made public with the explicit consent of both parties. Arbitration awards are generally not a matter of public record. Being able to choose an arbitrator with industry-specific expertise is especially important in corporate disputes. In addition, arbitration is often preferred in disputes involving international transactions, as all parties may not be familiar with the rules and procedures of a foreign court system, which puts them at a disadvantage. Disputes that can be settled in court can often take many months or years. With arbitration, these same disputes can be settled in weeks and at a fraction of the cost of pursuing litigation.

Change Management Consultation

Without change, organizations and businesses decline, are ineffectual, and eventual die. However, with attentiveness to life cycles of all organizations and businesses and strategic change management, the risk of failure may be minimized. That's because successful change requires your people to adopt new mindsets, processes and technologies in order to reach targets and achieve benefits. As a result, strategic visions, new technologies, and even perfect planning can only take you part of the way. Change management is needed to bring all the right people and pieces together in ways that maximize benefits and deliver ongoing success and leverage any conflict into a creative force. It is the key to making sure the desired outcomes stick with strong adoption and true conversion. CDBoyd LLC's approach to Change Management helps invested participants to risk and shape the outcomes of change by identifying and supporting the people, processes, and technologies that must be involved in each transition. Our ability to deliver what is needed for success across all areas of operation ensures that moving from the current state to the future state is smooth, successful, and achieves lasting benefits.

Consultation also includes executive life coaching using the best practices of The Academy for Modern Applied Psychology.