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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Cooperative Resolution Program References Page 2
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 Office of Outreach, Diversity, and Equal Opportunity (ODEO)



  • Mediation:  A form of ADR in which a trained neutral third party (usually a CRP ADR Program Specialist) facilitates a confidential discussion among two or more parties in conflict in an attempt to assist them to create and agree upon a mutually satisfactory resolution that is acceptable to all parties.

  • Mediator:  A qualified neutral third party whoassists parties in conflict to work toward a variety of goals. Mediators have no decision-making authority and are bound by confidentiality. Mediators work to: facilitate communication among the parties; help them explore mutual understanding; assist in defining and clarifying issues; maximize the exploration of alternatives; assist in exploring reconciliation and resolution.

  • Neutral:  The person who is authorized toconduct, lead, or facilitate an ADR session.  The neutral has no personal interest in the outcome of the conflict and acts impartially and without bias.  Neutrals include mediators, facilitators, and arbitrators.

  • Parties (also known as "participants"):  The agencies, employees, managers, or customers in conflict who voluntarily participate in the ADR process with the goal of reaching a mutually agreeable resolution.

  • Resolution Agreement:  A decision reached by the parties that results in the total or partial end or closure of a conflict, complaint, grievance, appeal, or litigation.  All Resolution Agreements will be reduced into writing.  Prior to the final signature by all parties, those Agreements that require functional action (e.g., personnel or pay action); will be reviewed by the appropriate subject-matter expert to confirm the terms are correct, actionable and implementable.

  • Timeframes

    • EEO Complaint Process: Employees must contact an EEO Counselor within 45 calendar days of the alleged discriminatory action or from the date the employee became aware of the alleged discriminatory act.
    • Administrative Grievance Process: Employees must submit an informal grievance within 15 calendar days from the date of the aggrieved event or from the date the employee became aware of the act or occurrence.  Policy guidance is found in REE P&P 463.2, Administrative Grievance System, dated June 4, 2001

  • CRP Brochure - Coming Soon

  • CRP Poster - Coming Soon


  • Departmental Regulation (DR) 4710-001, Alternative Dispute Resolution (April 5, 2006)

  • REE Policies and Procedures (P&P) 462.0, Alternative Dispute Resolution within the REE Mission Area ( June 2011)


      Conflict Competency 101 (2hrs)
      AUDIENCE:  All Employees           DELIVERY:  Classroom

      Faced with a conflict situation, each of us will lean toward a preferred conflict strategy.  The use of different strategies will produce different effects.  There are two major concerns in conflict:  your goals and the goals of the other person.  Success of the outcome is determined by how satisfied your goals are met and/or by how satisfied the other person's goals are met.  Learn how to determine which conflict strategy to choose to provide the most desired result for resolution.

      Fundamentals of ADR (1hr)
      AUDIENCE:  All Employees           DELIVERY:  Classroom

      Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is a series of processes and techniques that help people to informally resolve their differences with the assistance of a skilled and neutral third-party.  This briefing is an overview of the processes provided by the CRP.

      Giving Performance Feedback(2hrs)    
      AUDIENCE:  All Employees           DELIVERY:  Classroom

      This exchange is an on-going process between employee and manager where information is shared concerning the performance expected and the performance exhibited.  Constructive feedback can praise good performance or correct poor performance and should always be tied to established performance standards.  Learn how to provide effective feedback and avoid common mistakes.

      Making Change Work for You (1hr) 
      AUDIENCE:  All Employees           DELIVERY:  Classroom

      We can be certain about uncertainty.  Change is a moving target that produces anxiety, stress, and other health-related concerns.  So how do we cope?  How do we "make" the change and not let the change "make" us?  Learn ways to "OWN" change.  Let's take a few minutes to look at it from a different perspective.

      Practicing Effective Communication:  From Collision to Collaboration(2hrs)
      AUDIENCE:  All Employees           DELIVERY:  Classroom

      We learn not to assume the worse of each other, and to be considerate and supportive of one another.  We also learn that we control our attitude everyday and that no matter what position we have in the organization, we can make a difference.

        Respecting Generational Differences
        AUDIENCE:  All Employees    DELIVERY:  Classroom

        There are now four generations in the workforce, creating yet another dynamic of diversity in the workplace.  Many feel that "generation gaps" make it hard to get things done at work.  Exploring the differing perspectives from each group greatly enhances each person's ability to minimize conflict and maximize cooperative working relationships.

        Valuing Diversity/Inclusion:  A Dialogue(2hrs)
        AUDIENCE:  All Employees   DELIVERY:  Classroom

        Diversity is the collection of similarities and differences that we carry with us at all times based on characteristics we were born with, experiences we have had and choices we have made.  Inclusion can be defined as an environment where equity of opportunity exists for all employees to experience personal success and contribute to the organization's success. Leveraging diversity and inclusion are critical to an organizations success.  Does the presence of diversity guaranteed inclusiveness?  Which is more important, are they the "right thing to do?" or the "smart business thing to do?"  Let's talk about it.

        Understanding Working Styles (2hrs)
        AUDIENCE:  All Employees           DELIVERY:  Classroom

        Identification of our different working styles helps us understand how we can best communicate with one another.  Using those differences as strengths rather than barriers can lead to a healthier work environment.

    Last Modified: 8/13/2016
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