Understanding Alternative Dispute Resolution
Small and micro business owners Wednesday received an education in Alternative Dispute Resolution and its importance to them as business owners.
The event, held at Auberge Seraphine was organized by the Saint Lucia Industrial and Small Business Association whose executive director Flavia Cherry noted the need for such an exercise targeting this group of entrepreneurs who continue to be a force in the economic development of the country.
The workshop was an eye-opener for several of the participants many of whom expressed a desire to know more, stating knowledge like that could assist them in solving conflicts with customers and prevent them from losing income.
Not lost on the participants at the end of the session was the connection between the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution and having a competitive business.
Dispute resolution specialist, Lisa Evans was the facilitator who guided the small and micro entrepreneurs in understanding mediation and how it helps to resolve issues before they escalate.
According to Evans, mediation gives parties an opportunity to be heard and discuss their dispute in good faith with intent to settle; provides an opportunity for relationships to be restored, maintain or rebuilt; is a programme which is faster, therefore as a result parties save both money and time and is a system in which the parties to the disputes have full say over the outcome of their dispute.
Aside from explaining the origins of this new method of solving conflicts in business and its benefits to the small and micro business community, Evans also took the opportunity to explain in detail the pros and cons of the new form of dispute settlement and how one should go about seeking mediation.
“Alternative Dispute Resolution is private and confidential. This is one of its distinct features and this is important especially as business people. You have trade secrets. You have ways of doing things that make your product/s unique,” Evans told the gathering, noting that going to court removes the privacy one would have liked in seeking a settlement with a consumer or customer.
Evans outlined five steps to mediation services explaining to participants to first find out if the other person wants to mediate before seeking mediation and to call or visit the mediation office at La Place Carenage on Jeremie Street, Castries for information if unsure of what to do, or speak with an attorney on the matter.