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Word Count: 271
Todays communities and companies find themselves facing a host of competitive challenges an accelerating pace of technological change the emergence of new laws and regulations the blurring of ethical boundaries tighter budgets and the need for accountability These challenges require new thinking and new strategies Each of us must explore innovative ways to resolve disputes outside of the courtroom It is important to remember that conflict is merely a difference of perception Conflict and differences of opinion can be potentially constructive or destructive Left to fester conflict takes on a life of its own and becomes destructive Tempers flare egos grow and the conflict turns into full-blown litigation at any cost Litigation tends to pit disputants against one another The results can have a devastating impact in a community and the cost factor tends to be high The loss of productivity attorney fees and delay in accomplishing the end goal adds up each day Conflict addressed early on and in a collaborative approach however brings forth some of the most innovative ideas and resolutions Collaborative input is constructive in reducing litigation costs as well as red flagging areas of conflict where change is needed within an agency The bottom line is that most conflict should be viewed as an opportunity not as a battle between egos Most conflict is based on misinformation andor lack of communication Alternative dispute resolution techniques such as facilitation and mediation allow all disputants to voice their concerns and explore options and alternatives ADR encourages timely resolution of controversial issues with mutually satisfying results The strongest motivation to using alternatives to litigation is saving financial resources
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