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  • Friday, December 13, 2019 2:29 PM | Sandra ADRIA Membership (Administrator)

    The Importance of Conflict Management Skills in Business

    Written by: Kristy Rhyason

    When you run a business, relationship and conflict management is just part of the job. Conflict will arise in any workplace, but how that conflict is handled can either build relationships or disintegrate them.Strong conflict management skills become crucial for business owners.

    Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) practices are based on interest-based communications skills that can effectively diffuse workplace conflict and enhance workplace culture.

    We spoke with Chuck Smith, an HR Professional with a distinguished 40-year career with 36 of those years being at Syncrude Canada Ltd. Chuck has retired and is an independent contractor in Edmonton. Chuck has worked hard to raise the influence of conflict management training and skills within the field of Human Resources.

    He is the Past President of the ADR Institute of Alberta (ADRIA), and has served on the Board of Directors for both ADRIA and ADR Canada for most of the past decade. Chuck also influenced the formation of an ADR Certificate Program for HR Professionals in Alberta.

    Through professional development training, Chuck realized the importance of conflict management skills. He saw a clear difference in how he could effectively approach and diffuse workplace conflict as an HR professional.

    During my ADR training I could understand how my approach and intervention with workplace conflict had many flaws. While good intentions and my natural communication skills that drew me to the HR field were always there, my ability to be effective in resolving disputes was lacking. I can honestly say, as a result of my ADR training the employees, management and my employer have been better served.”

    His skills as an HR professional improved and he saw growth in key competencies.

    “It took a while but with time, perseverance and practice I have become very comfortable using what I learned in my ADR training. Some of the more helpful competencies include asking probing questions at the appropriate time, paraphrasing, reflecting feelings, empathizing appropriately, reframing and listening to understand. All are critical competencies in HR.

    When conflict arises, Chuck has a fresh perspective on how to approach the situation.

    “My first priority is to seek to understand before being understood. Helping others feel heard has opened many difficult relationships and allowed for increasing my effectiveness at resolving workplace disputes for others as well as my own.

    Not only did Chuck see the change he could create in resolving interpersonal conflict, but he also realized how the bigger picture of how his organization manages conflict could change.

    While the company I worked for recognized the value in using ADR to resolve disputes, the company policy did not contain clear instruction on the use of ADR. This is a huge area of opportunity for organizations to significantly improve their ability to have a respectful, attractive workplace.”

    When reflecting on the training he received, Chuck observed that it not only made him better at his job as an HR professional, but impacted all of his relationships.

    “My ADR training helped me improve my communication skills. I am better able to clearly understand others interests and ensure I am heard and they understand my interest. This has gone a long way to improve my effectiveness at resolving differences at work and at home.

    Conflict management training can round out the skill set of business administrators and add to more harmonious workplaces and personal lives.

    Kristy Rhyason is the Manager of Marketing and Communications at the ADR Institute of Alberta. Chuck Smith is an independent HR contractor in Edmonton.

  • Wednesday, October 09, 2019 12:01 PM | Anonymous

    Celebrate Conflict Resolution Day on October 17 with workshops, luncheons, networking, & other events across Alberta all week!

    There is still time to plan your own Conflict Resolution Day event in your community! An event can be large or small, private or public; anything that gets people talking about the options and benefits that ADR can offer. You can find a list of event ideas on the Conflict Resolution Day website.

    f you do host an event in celebration of Conflict Resolution Day, please let them know. Add your event to the Events page, or send an email to

    Our Conflict Resolution Day Events

    ADRIA Fall Networking Event

    Thursday Oct 17th 5:00pm - 8:00pm
    Central Social Hall, 10909 Jasper Ave

    We are pleased to re-introduce our Networking events this fall with our first to be held at Central Social Hall in Edmonton in celebration of Conflict Resolution Week. Please plan to take advantage of this networking opportunity and bring your colleagues and guests.

    The event is free, appetizers will be provided and a cash bar is available.

    We look forward to seeing you there!

    [Registration & Details]

    Conflict Resolution Day Pop Up At Bankers Hall in Calgary

    Thursday Oct 17th 12:30pm to 2:30pm
    A Dose of Happiness, Banker's Hall
    (3rd floor, across from the food court)

    Join us at Banker's Hall in Calgary for a Pop Up Conflict Resolution Day event! Don Schapira will present at 1pm on Defusing Conflict at Work and at Home. Bring your lunch or grab a snack at the food court and come by for some networking before and after the presentation!

    Defusing Conflict at Work and at Home

    Bring a client, colleague or family member to lunch! ADRIA and the FOAJ will celebrate Conflict Resolution Day 2019 by hosting this year’s public discussion topic, as generated by the Alberta Conflict Resolution Day Committee*.

    ADRIA members Don Schapira (Calgary) and Cecile Schultz (Edmonton) will lead our luncheon attendees through a fun, practical one-hour workshop that will give participants a communication tool they can immediately put to use, and that our members can incorporate into their own practice and training delivery. Register now for this networking and professional development opportunity, and bring a guest.

    Tuesday, October 15, 2019
    11:30 AM - 1:15 PM

    Danish Canadian Club
    727-11th Avenue SW
    [Details & Registration]

    Wednesday, October 16, 2019
    11:30 AM - 1:15 PM

    Buffet Royale - West
    17202 95 Ave NW
    [Details & Registration]

    * The Alberta Conflict Resolution Day Committee is a Government of Alberta / Non-profit partnership representing dispute resolution interests from all over the province. Since 2007 we have been providing resources and support to dispute resolution professionals, organizations and the public to host events and activities celebrating Conflict Resolution Day - an international event held annually on the third Thursday of every October. Learn more about Conflict Resolution Day and how you can register an event or activity by visiting

    Other Conflict Resolution Day Events


    Free Workshop: Defusing Conflict at Work and at Home

    Join in one of the free workshops across the province! This year’s topic for Conflict Resolution Day is “Defusing Conflict at Work and at Home.” Learn some strategies for defusing conflict, including how to deal with triggers, emotional reactions, the difference between positions and interests, real active listening skills and questions you can use to defuse.

    Fri Oct 11th 2:00pm - 3:30pm
    Signal Hill Library, 5994 Signal Hill Centre SW
    [More Details]

    Wed Oct 16th 3:30pm - 5:00pm
    Nose Hill Library, 1530 Northmount Dr NW
    [More Details]

    Thu Oct 17th 9:30am or 1:30pm
    Grande Prairie
    Courthouse Mediation Room, 10260 99 St
    [More Details]

    Thu Oct 17th 12:00pm - 1:30pm
    Kingsway Mall, 109 St and Princess Elizabeth Ave NW
    [More Details]

    Fri Oct 18th 2:00pm - 3:30pm
    Crowfoot Library, 8665 Nose Hill Dr NW
    [More Details]

    Sat Oct 19th 1:00pm - 2:30pm
    Seton Library, 4995 Market St SE
    [More Details]


    Lighting Up Our Bridges for Conflict Resolution Day

    On Thursday, Oct 17th the Edmonton High Level Bridge & the Calgary Reconcilliation Bridge will be lit in celebration of International Conflict Resolution Day.


    Conflict Resolution Info Fair

    Thursday Oct 17th 10:00am - 2:00pm
    Kingsway Mall

    Swing by Kingsway Mall between 10:00am and 2:00pm to check out the different dispute resolution services offered in the province. Get your questions answered and maybe leave with some free swag!

    You can also sign up for a free "Defusing Conflict at Work and at Home" workshop offered in the same location from noon to 1:00pm. Register at


    Conflict Resolution Day Proclaimation - City of Edmonton

    Thursday Oct 17th 11:00am - 11:15am
    Kingsway Mall

    Communities around Alberta join together to celebrate Conflict Resolution Day. We recognize that conflict is part of life, and that it is not the conflict but how we handle it that matters. Conflict Resolution Day is an opportunity to educate ourselves about how to prevent and manage disputes effectively, and to raise awareness about all the conflict resolution services available to citizens across the province.

    Check out the Full Listing of Conflict Resolution Day Activities!

  • Tuesday, September 03, 2019 2:20 PM | Sandra ADRIA Membership (Administrator)

    It's that time of year again!

    Applications are accepted until September 30th for Qualified Mediator (Q.Med), Chartered Mediator (C.Med), Qualified Arbitrator (Q.Arb) and Chartered Arbitrator (C.Arb). Make sure to include reference letters, transcripts, supervised mock mediation forms, etc. 

    We require three weeks notice to schedule your C.Med Skills Assessment or Q.Med Supervised Mock Mediation so contact to book your spot. 
    For more information:

    The next application window will be in March 2020.

    If you have any questions, please email Sandra at

  • Thursday, July 25, 2019 7:55 PM | Anonymous
  • Tuesday, June 25, 2019 11:15 AM | Sandra ADRIA Membership (Administrator)

    He was a retired professor with an immaculate backyard.

    Across the fence was a young junk collector. Or at least, that’s what the professor saw. Actually, you could better describe the younger one as a hustler, a street-smart guy making money as he could.

    But the stage was set anyway: Spiteful words. Bylaw called. More than once. It was spiralling out of control.

    “Eventually, they were at the point where they were shovelling snow into each other’s yards just to escalate,” said Peter Windel, the volunteer mediator the City of Edmonton called in to help. This was too much for a bylaw officer to handle.

    I went for coffee with Windel recently, curious about his role in a society that prefers lawyers to mediators. He runs a struggling non-profit doing incredible work in local neighbourhoods.

    With just a $50,000 grant last year, the Mediation and Restorative Justice Centre accepted more than 400 referrals from city staff and 311 operators. In 176 cases, they gave coaching or intensive mediation to change hearts and bring healing.

    Read Full Article Here

  • Monday, June 03, 2019 2:31 PM | Anonymous

    The ADR Institute of Canada is calling for nominees for the Lionel J. McGowan Awards of Excellence in Dispute Resolution.
    The awards are named in recognition and honour of Lionel J. McGowan, the first Executive Director of the Arbitrators’ Institute of Canada. The presentation of the McGowan Awards will take place during the ADRIC 2019 Conference in Victoria, British Columbia, November 20-22, 2019
    There are two awards to bestow: one for outstanding regional contributions and one for outstanding national contributions.
    Nominations will be accepted until Friday, August 2, 2019. You are encouraged to submit nominations at any time prior to this date.

    Please send nominations in the form of a letter explaining why you feel your nominee should be recognized and highlighting the nominee’s specific contributions, to the McGowan Nomination Committee at the ADR Institute’s national office, by fax or email.

    Fax: 416-901-4736

  • Thursday, May 30, 2019 2:30 PM | Anonymous

    Have ideas for professional development training you’d like to see at ADRIA? 

    We are looking for suggestions for upcoming one-day professional development training sessions targeting experienced mediators and/or arbitrators. Submit a brief proposal of no more than 300 words, including an explanation of the specifics of the training and why it would benefit ADR professionals. The person whose suggestion we use, will win the training for free! If more than one member submits the same idea then a draw will be held for the free training.
    Submit your ideas to by June 24th.

  • Thursday, May 23, 2019 2:33 PM | Anonymous

    By: Danielle and Andy Mayoras (Forbes)

    One of the best ways for families in the midst of an inheritance dispute -- or many other legal cases for that matter -- to settle their differences is with mediation.

    Read a fan fiction "deleted scene" from Game of Thrones where a new character - a mediator - joins the cast.

    Spoiler Alert: This "deleted scene" contains spoilers.

    Read the Full Article

  • Friday, March 29, 2019 12:23 PM | Anonymous

    Divorce Magazine Canada is a free resource of local businesses that can help through the transitions of divorce or separation. On behalf of our mediators who work with families, ADRIA submitted an article as well as an advertisement. Our article, "Could we just talk? (for the sake of the kids)" discusses preserving the parent-child relationships. The issue is available now throughout Alberta at many convenient locations. 

  • Wednesday, March 13, 2019 12:22 PM | Anonymous

    Please plan to join us Thursday, June 13 from 5-8 pm for our Annual General Meeting. Wine and cheese will be served and door prizes will be available.

    Tentative Schedule:

    5:00 - 5:30 Networking Reception

    5:30 - 6:30 AGM

    6:30 - 7:00 Networking Reception

    7:00 - 7:30 Keynote Speaker (TBA)

    7:30 - 8:00 Networking Reception


    Edmonton Location:

    ADRIA Office

    #225 Tower 1

    3697 Mill Woods Road

    Calgary Location:

    Danish Canadian Club

    727 - 11th Avenue S.W.

    or join us online via ZOOM (details to follow)


    More information and details will be posted on our website in the coming weeks.

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Your source for ADR information and expertise.
Alberta's association of mediators and arbitrators. 

Our main office is located in Edmonton:

#225, Tower 1
3697 Mill Woods Road NW 
Edmonton, AB T6K 3L6

Contact Us:

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