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What Equal Opportunity can do for you

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Robert Reid
  • 36th Wing Equal Opportunity
Human relation conflicts often stem from communication difficulties where two people can't understand each other's point of view. When faced with this dilemma, how do you respond? Do you become abrasive, vulgar, use profanity or even discriminate?

One resource available to Team Andersen personnel is a concept the 36th Wing Equal Opportunity Office offers called Alternative Dispute Resolution. Using ADR, the staff offers alternative complaint resolution methods to resolve disputes in lieu of administrative or judicial processes.

One resolution technique under ADR is facilitation. Through facilitation, a third party who will gain no direct benefit from the situation serves to resolve the conflict. The third party helps people in a dispute clarify their viewpoints in an effort to produce a prompt and informal resolution of the issues.

The equal opportunity staff has trained personnel who serve as a neutral third party.

Since equal opportunity's recent merge with equal employment opportunity, civilians may take advantage of the service.

The civilian complaint process offers ADR as a dispute resolution option. Civilians with complaints may initiate the complaint processing through the equal opportunity staff, but will be referred to the wing's ADR champion, Kelly Rodriquez, if they opt to use ADR to informally resolve their concerns.

Military and civilian personnel can contact equal opportunity to learn more about ADR services. However, military personnel must realize that both disputants must agree to the process, the EO director must determine if the issue is appropriate for facilitation and unit commanders must approve use of this dispute resolution method.

The key with the conflict resolution process is to start and keep the dialogue going, clarify choices for resolution and devise reasonable consensual alternatives. Equal opportunity advocates lowest level resolution of disputes and ADR services offer Team Andersen personnel a means to calmly resolve human relation communication barriers.

The advantage for using this service and process is varied, but the key underlining benefit is improved and clarified communication, possible problem resolution and most importantly, mission sustainment. For more information, please call the EO office at 366-5111.

Like our mission, everyone is important and adds value to Team Andersen.