One of the most noticeable issues that could arise in a negotiation or mediation is an imbalance of power. Often one of the hardest issues to overcome if the neutral or the parties are not prepared, and still difficult when the neutral is prepared, an imbalance can easily throw an otherwise successful dispute resolution process.
The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) requires covered employers to grant reasonable accommodations to those otherwise qualified employees who are able to complete the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation. The employer may negate the duty by showing that the only possible reasonable accommodations impose an undue hardship on the employer.
Asking questions is one of the most powerful – and often misused – tools for professionals in dispute resolution settings, whether legal, workplace, mediation or anywhere. When you are dealing with high-conflict clients, it is especially important to consider the timing of different types of questions and also to know what questions you should never ask.