Coaching, Conflict Management, EEO, HR, Management

How to Prepare Parties for a Mediation

Many of us are in a role to support mediation for our agencies or organizations. There is empirical data that demonstrates the most successful mediations occur when both parties come to the session prepared. Yet, there are many instances where the parties participating in the mediation don’t have a basic understanding of what to expect or how to leverage mediation. As professionals in this field, we all have an opportunity to improve the quality of mediation sessions by helping participants prepare. Here are some strategies we have found valuable when preparing parties for

Diversity, EEO, HR

How To Move the Conversation from Diversity to Inclusion

As experts in our respective fields, we are often called as consultants or coaches to help managers in our organizations manage through an ever-changing, diverse workforce. It’s usually in these situations that you discover a basic challenge: most managers oversimplify the diversity issue and forget that diversity without inclusion can hurt an organization. We’d like to offer a real-life example to illustrate this challenge. One of the Art of Resolution principals worked as the HR manager for a small organization, in a small town, whose growth had been stagnate for many

Conflict Management, Diversity, EEO, HR, Investigations

Join our New LinkedIn Group!

We are delighted to announce that we have formed a group on LinkedIn called EEO and Diversity Professionals. We created this group as a virtual gathering place for EEO, diversity, conflict management (i.e., ADR) and human resources professionals to exchange perspectives and learn about the latest developments in our fields.  The group is founded on the notion that EEO, diversity, HR and ADR professionals share common interests and that their success is often predicated on their ability to collaboratively address complex human resources issues by creatively integrating their

EEO, HR, Investigations

Investigating Non-Selection Complaints

In our last post, we discussed how to defend non-selections from a selecting official’s perspective. In this post, we’ll discuss this issue from an investigator’s perspective. Those of us trained as EEO investigators, are familiar with the shifting burdens of proof outlined in McDonnell Douglas v. Green. Of specific note is management’s burden to articulate a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason for its actions. In this case, we are looking for management’s reasons for not selecting the complainant. Countless times, we see (as investigators and reviewers of investigatio


Making a Bullet Proof Selection – Part 3

In part 1 we talked about recruiting for the best applicants; in part 2 we talked about making the right selections and now, in this 3rd and final part, let’s talk about defending the selection. By doing the work upfront that defines how the selection process will be handled, you have already laid the foundation to defend it. The first component is to ensure the process is followed consistently. As soon as a manager doesn’t do what the plan says they are going to do, they are placing the organization at risk. As soon as a manager doesn’t follow the same process as the re


Making a Bullet-Proof Selection, Part 2

Last week in part 1, we discussed the importance of having an accurate position description and the need for it to describe the skills needed to be successful in the position. The next thing I do is work with the manager to ensure a plan is in place that differentiates among applicants and to gets the best applicants to the selecting official. Review at the merit promotion plan, crediting plan or whatever it is you use to outline the process and establish the guidelines for selection. It’s probably a combination of things. I can’t count how many times a manager has told me

HR, Leadership, Management

57,000 Federal Employees on Paid Administrative Leave? Five Basic Steps to Keep You Out of the Headlines

The numbers reported in the October 20th Washington Post article of federal employees placed on administrative leave after being accused of misconduct are staggering: More than 50,000 on leave up to three months; 4,000 on leave three months to a year; and Several hundred on leave from one to three years. This is probably not a shock to those who work for the federal government. It wasn’t a surprise to us either – we saw this a lot when we worked in the government. Why are these numbers so high?   Because it’s easier to get the accused employee out of the offic