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Dispute Resolution Training

IDRS has a team of experienced practitioners each of whom has years of experience facilitating conflict resolution processes. For almost 30 years, IDRS has assisted Native American tribes and organizations through training and services.


IDRS offers a series of workshops designed to improve people’s ability to communicate, collaborate and resolve disagreements in a mutually satisfying (win-win) manner. 

Each workshop utilizes best practices in adult learning. Experiential activities ensure a high level of retention with an immediate applicability of skills learned. Learning strategies include mini-lectures, demonstrations by trainers, small group discussions, simulations, role-plays, self-administered questionnaires and instructional videos. 


1. Intercultural Communication & Negotiation Skills

This workshop teaches participants to satisfy the interests and expectations of others while not sacrificing one’s own vital interests. This workshop promotes age-old concepts of consensus-building which Indian tribes and other traditional societies utilized for thousands of years.  The segment on “intercultural” communications does not focus on any one culture but provides “tools” for dealing effectively with all cultural differences including ethnic, religious, gender, generation, education, income and social status.

Participants learn how to: 
    •    Talk and listen respectfully
    •    Persuade, convince and influence others
    •    Implement ground rules to make negotiations safe and predictable
    •    Identify the interests of both parties when creating agendas and proposals
    •    Defuse anger and disruptive behavior
    •    Establish common ground
    •    Develop written agreements which are clear, fair, lasting and enforceable

The workshop is designed for people who want to improve communication and decision-making and is a prerequisite to the Advanced Negotiation Skills Workshop, as well as the Mediation and Peacemaking Workshops (described below).

2. Advanced Negotiation Skills 

This three-day workshop is designed to help negotiation teams from tribes, and other organizations prepare for the negotiation process. Participants learn how to conduct effective face-to-face negotiations from initial preparation to the conclusion of the process.


This includes working with leaders to: 
    •    Identify interests of all parties
    •    Assemble a well-balanced
negotiation team
    •    Define team roles
    •    Establish a system for communications
    •    Facilitate meetings between the negotiation team and final decision-makers
    •    Develop proposals for agenda items and procedural ground rules
    •    Craft a negotiation strategy which maximizes the 
organization's leverage

3. Mediation Skills & Processes

This three-day workshop builds on lessons learned in the Communication and Negotiation workshop. The training offers new perspectives and skills on how to enlist and engage people in collaborative problem-solving resulting in agreements which are explicit, fair, legal, enforceable and lasting.
This workshop is particularly useful to people who work in intermediary roles (e.g. directors, department and program managers, personnel specialists or committee or Board Chairs), who must balance differences among competing interests and get people to work effectively together. Completing this workshop is a prerequisite to taking the Advanced Mediation certification training. 

4. Advanced Mediation Certification Training


This three-day workshop is for those who have completed the workshops and have decided they would like to become certified and placed on IDRS’ Panel of Professional Mediators.

This workshop builds on mediation principles and concepts learned in the preceding workshops. Primary emphasis is on obtaining additional practice with more complex and challenging role-plays and direct feedback from experienced mediators. A segment of the advanced training deals with “ethics of a mediator” and provides updates on state laws that address disclosure, confidentiality and other issues pertaining to mediation.

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