Discussion Forum - How do we make Online Conflict Resolution a Lifestyle?

How do we make Online Conflict Resolution a Lifestyle?

Discussion Framing Statement:

It's more affordable and accessible than face to face, yet there still seems to be resistance from clients and mediators. Simulations are effective for converting doubters, so what holds people back from on line dispute resolution?

Moderators’ Bio

Remi Alli is a Psychology graduate and also holds a Master's Degree in Health Law and JD. She has mediated for over 15 years and is a trained and certified Mediator. She recently received the top prize in the nation for legal writing and served as a teacher through the Law & Leadership Institute.

Nancy Radford is a qualified personal and business coach,and accredited by the ADR Group as a Civil and Commercial Mediator and an International Online Mediator. She has received additional training in Special Educational Needs Mediation from KIDS and is on the regional KIDS SEN Panel. Prior to mediation and conflict coaching, Nancy worked as a nurse, midwife and researcher in the health sector, was a director of a quick print firm, and a senior manager in charities and private companies.

As a “third culture kid”, she is comfortable with religious, national and cultural differences and sensitivities, enabling mutual understanding. As a qualified coach, facilitator and mediator, she uses her experience, combined with techniques and tools based on research in behavioural science and psychology to rebuild trust and relationships. Nancy particularly enjoys mediating or facilitating change in difficult and emotional situations by giving people tools to handle clashing values or conflicts of interest in a constructive way. www.roundtuit.me.uk



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Hello and welcome to Cyberweek! We are very excited for you to join us. As the above states, tell us your reservations, if at all to online conflict management. Answer any or all of the below too. Thank you!

  1. What makes you resistant, if at all?
  2. What would make it easier for you to deal/ handle your conflicts? Would you prefer to handle it in house or completely apart from your school, workplace or other settings? What are the pros and cons to both?
  3. Some universities have internal mediators, the trouble occurs when parties in conflict see them in house and reminded of conflicts. Would it be much easier if it is someone you completely do not know so you are not reminded of the conflict when you see them in your normal routine?
  4. What sites are you aware of in this field?  
  5. What other concerns do you have?
  6. Would you use an automated mediator - why or why not? Pros and cons? Would you feel listened to in the same way?
  7. Would you prefer to remain anonymous during a session? If so, how do we lower the potential consequences of anonymity in this space? Would someone feel uncomfortable/ awkward in a session with those using a emask?
  8. How many parties would you feel comfortable meeting with at one time in an OCR/M? Discussion or mediation.
  9. What type of conflicts would you prefer to use this for? Are there other conflicts you would not use it for and why?
  10. How much would you be willing to pay per hour, monthly or annually and why?
  11. Would you use it for professional and private conflicts? One over the other, which ones and why?
  12. How can we curtail language as a barrier? 
  13. Would using emojis to identify emotions be helpful? Why or why not?


More to come!

HI Folks. Happy Halloween and Cyberweek 2016.  The question of how we might become more agile and relaxed about using online dispute resolution tools fascinates me. I think we may have to think about it as something that requires social and contextual support that makes it acceptable, kind of like the acceptability of approaching customer support for problems with a product, but instead for approaching conflict with significant people in your world. I tried to write out some of my ideas related to this in a recent issue of ACResolution Magazine in an article entitled Empowering Networked Individuals (and Practitioners) to Better Mana.... I believe people are still conflict avoidant with people in their personal social networks, but are becoming more strident and argumentative with people outside their personal circles. So, perhaps we need to have more "Artificial Intelligence" tools to coach us to approach others and keep our relationships health high, not just our physical health. Conchita's project  (see her post in this forum) sounds like an interesting development in this area.

For those who haven't been following it, I have found the Facebook Compassion Research day presentations and projects very interesting because they have such a large platform and audience to work with as they design conflict management workflows.

Gonna have to think more about this topic... Good stuff, but no easy answers.

Thanks for the great reply and resources, Dr. Warters. Would you be willing to create short content videos? Less than a minute with fun visuals on conflicts or conflict resolution information for the masses?

Anyone interested in this, please contact me at nextgenerationmediation@gmail.com. Thanks.

Clearly, Online Conflict Resolution will only start becoming a lifestyle where people see it working. That's starting to happen but we have a long ways to go. What do you have in mind by "automated mediator"? Perhaps Smartsettle fits in that category. You are all invited to try it out. There's a link to follow in the forum that Carissa and I are leading. It just takes a few minutes if you have a responsive opponent, and hopefully we will be just that. 

Great points. I was referring to bots, which we have on the way, but I would love for you to email me about your work: nextgenerationmediation@gmail.com.

Hey there everyone,

I am a current senior at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and am 21 years old. Before reading this post, I had never given too much thought as to why so many people may be reluctant to try ODR, but after picturing myself in the process, I came to the conclusion that for some, potentially more around my age, it would appear to be too much like a lifestyle. I consider myself to be somewhat "old-fashioned" with my liking of the use of technology, but that doesn't mean that I'm not texting, messaging on facebook, on twitter, and on instagram for the majority of everyday. However, when it comes to discussing more "serious" things, I get a little frustrated with texting, and would much rather talk in person. Many people aren't able to show their true voice or personality through texting or are less likely to feel pressure to respond with more than an "idk", and if you are trying to make a joke to make the atmosphere a little lighter, it often doesn't transfer through text messages. 

When I pictured myself to be engaged in ODR, I imagined that I wouldn't like it because it would seem too much like a somewhat silly texting argument that isn't as important as the issues brought up in a formal dispute resolution setting often are, because it resembles texting or facebook messaging too much. I feel like many people may view it as too casual of a setting to be able to talk about serious issues. 

On the other hand, however, people who are very comfortable with texting and the use of social media may find themselves more comfortable talking via on online platform, than in person. It definitely depends on the person, but I think that a decent part of the population would feel uncomfortable using this online platform for similar reasons that I might.

Hi Sara: I think you may want to look at some of this a bit deeper. Some of ODR is video based, and not at all based on messages, texts, emails etc. It sounds like these video aspects would appeal to you.


Hi Tom,

Great point, and thanks so much for bringing it up. I definitely agree that the video adds a deeper aspect than basic messages being sent. I suppose what I was getting at was that simply bringing technology into play could give off a less formal vibe for some people, instead of getting in your car and driving to a common meeting place, where you're not necessarily in the casual comfort of a familiar place, and where your overall body language can be assessed by others, etc.



You have touched on some of the common critical thoughts about the online arena, Sara. We have trained some people and the vast majority report positively on the experience. Even relative to body language, most trained mediators feel that online tools add a dimension to their practice that can be used when appropriate. I don't think online will ever replace face to face, but rather it will be an additional tool to use as and when appropriate. 

Thanks Sara and Tom, you have some great points. Rather than saying we should just use online or offline, good mediators will look at the range of tools available and see what would work best with each client. If people haven't had experience of mediation, they might feel more comfortable with a less formal approach, or feel safer speaking from the comfort of their own surroundings. On the other hand, they may prefer a more formal, neutral meeting ground. A combination of methods could be used. It depends too on how comfortable people are with technology, whether the two parties will ever need to meet in person in the future (for example if they are neighbours). Rather than ODR as a life style perhaps it is DR as the lifestyle and we use whatever methods best support the individuals and  aims.


As a current student and part of our demographic, I would love to chat with you. What is your email address?


What would make you try on-line dispute resolution

  • more affordable
  • more accessible
  • more convenient


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