We have already discussed how Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) can be a unique and effective way to solve many types of conflict. Most conflict in our lives result from small disagreements and miscommunications with friends, family, neighbors and business associates. If left unchecked, they have the potential to grow into the larger and more serious issues that may require professional help from a trained mediator or arbitrator.
eQuibbly offers solution alternatives for both the less serious disputes as well as the more serious issues. To resolve the former type of dispute, eQuibbly encourages you to post your dispute in public so you can ‘crowdsource’ help from strangers. Often the best advice comes from strangers – people who don’t know you and don’t really care whether you take their advice or not. This is true for a number of reasons.
Strangers are not personally invested in your dispute. Although soliciting opinions from friends and family members can certainly be valuable, it is much more likely, consciously or not, that they will be influenced by factors other than the merits of the argument. People who are intimately familiar with the conflict or the disputing parties are likely to have pre-existing biases or shared personal relationships which will no doubt influence their suggestions and opinions.
When offering advice, rather than being biased by irrelevant factors such as how what they say might affect their relationship with one of the parties, strangers will draw on their own experiences with similar situations. This can be helpful since it provides an opportunity to learn from someone else’s mistakes and successes.
The disputing parties also will be more likely to heed strangers’ advice since those strangers have nothing to gain and nothing to lose – they have no dog in the fight. Often people in the midst of a disagreement will lose sight of the facts and the merits and become mired in a battle of wits and egos. It’s no longer whether one side is right or wrong – it’s whether one side can out-smart the other or whether they can be more persuasive. No matter what the ultimate cause of a conflict, at some point it can become difficult to admit defeat or agree to a compromise without a crushing blow to the ego. If a dispute reaches this stage, it is a lot easier taking the same advice from a stranger than your adversary.
Posting a public non-binding dispute on eQuibbly is an efficient and effective way to solicit advice from strangers and arrive at a mutually satisfactory resolution to your dispute, or at least one that is fair.