When business partners, knowledge workers within companies, or individuals with high stakes have disagreements, they may be reluctant to consider standard mediation services.

For these companies and individuals, ZevGroup offers an alternative dispute resolution service. SmartSolutions caters to high-level managers and executives, to help resolve business-to-business disputes, and employee-employer disputes.

Beyond Traditional Mediation

Traditional mediation has proven its value for handling everyday disputes, common landlord/tenant misunderstandings, and for helping with family issues and child custody planning. Any mediator will help interpret each party's needs and thoughts to the other side; and help to keep the parties communicating by focusing on fairness and on achieving workable, equitable solutions.

But in some situations, the challenges are more complex. These situations require mediators with special skills and understanding, able to follow more complex arguments, knowledgeable about business, and attuned to the challenges of communicating with individuals who may be uncomfortable expressing themselves in social or adversarial situations.

ZevGroup's SmartSolutions offers these services. We are comfortable with discussions about highly technical issues, and we have experience teaching communication skills to people who have difficulty expressing themselves. We understand and communicate with them.

Issues for high-level mediation may include:

  • Partnership disputes.
  • Some contract disputes.
  • Disputes over idea ownership.
  • Alternative employment relationships.

Occasionally, it is advisable to work with an attorney's advice, or to have one "on call". This set-up can be arranged.

A Mediation Session

As in traditional mediation, SmartSolutions makes sure everyone's view is heard and understood. We ascertain that all parties understand the context of the dispute and agree on the goals of the mediation. (Sometimes goal clarification turns out to resolve the perceived conflicts.) In laying out major issues, we separate the emotions from the facts (the people from the problem).

But SmartSolutions goes beyond traditional mediation. We are uniquely qualified to establish and maintain real communication between the parties, even when arguments are complicated, the material technical, and the parties uncomfortable with confrontation or intense communication. If necessary for the flow of the discussion to continue unimpeded, the mediator will acquaint herself with techniques, jargon, and concepts before the session begins.

Clear Understanding is Key

The ability to communicate ideas is critically important to complex problem solving. Be-cause not all participants in a mediation are equally facile debaters, SmartSolutions mediators take the time to be sure that both sides are expressing themselves clearly and are being heard correctly. We are comfortable with jargon and technical details.


Integrated Conflict Management Systems

ZevGroup can consult with your business about introducing an integrated conflict management system to reduce disputes. Grievance processes and mediation are often a part of these systems, which may also use tools such as referrals, listening, anonymous problem identification and consultation, coaching, mentoring, informal problem-solving, direct negotiation, informal shuttle diplomacy, and systems change.

Mediation and Negotiation Workshops

ZevGroup has taught mediation and negotiation to MBA and law students, as well as to executives, We offer your employees and executives hands-on training in conducting successful mediations&emdash;and negotiating to win for today and the future.

Negotiation Coaching

Even accomplished negotiators find it helpful to have an outside consultant during a negotiation. A negotiation mentor can help prevent big mistakes by warning you when, for example, you're acting out of anger instead of logic, by helping you to evaluate your alternatives rationally, and by helping you to phrase counter-offers in ways designed to encourage agreement.

Email Mediation

Email is a central aspect of today's businesses. Negotiation and mediation via email are becoming increasingly common. But email negotiation has special pitfalls. Traditional mediation methods don't translate easily to cyberspace. ZevGroup is in the forefront of this new wave, and experienced in conducting mediation between two disputing parties via email. Jennifer Halpern, the principal of ZevGroup is a certified eBay mediator, experienced at email-based mediations with SquareTrade, a service that mediates disputes among eBay and other on-line traders. (For tips on using email, click here.)


"Jennifer Halpern is an extremely dedicated and talented mediator. She made the process fun. I wasn't even going to file this case because I thought it would be impossible to resolve. Jennifer did it with ease. A true mediation professional."

-- SquareTrade client

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