ADR Glossary

Below are some of the terms associated with ADR.


A desire or need to create or discover something new, while thinking and working with others. It is a process of joint decision making among parties. It involves: different views and perspectives, shared goals, building new shared understandings, and the creation of a new value or product. Collaborations may address a single issue or a short-term concern.


A situation where people on the same team have different overall goals.

Conflict Resolution:

A process to resolve disputes between people with different interests. This resolution process can have constructive consequences if the parties air their different interests, make trade-offs, and reach a settlement that satisfies the essential needs of each.


A desired future condition, including measurable end results, to be accomplished within specified time limits.


A process through which a third party assists the disputants in finding a mutually acceptable solution. In mediation, the role of the third party is to assist disputants in considering or exploring all the parameters of a conflict (interests, facts, possible solutions). The mediator is not authorized to impose a solution upon the parties; rather the mediator uses a series of joint and confidential private meetings to help the parties determine whether a set of solutions exists to which each party can say yes.


Direct talk among the parties about a conflict, conducted with the goal of achieving a resolution. The distinguishing characteristic is that the talk involves the parties themselves without the direct assistance of a third party.


A series of actions by which something is produced. A set of interrelated activities that is characterized by receiving inputs and adding value to produce a desired output.

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Page last reviewed: October 18, 2010