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.
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,
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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
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,
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."