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Thursday, October 15, 2020

Resolve Your Conflict based on the Issue and not the Position of Right or Wrong

Resolve Conflicts And Produce Better Footing Going Forward 

When a conflict arises based on a right and wrong position the more you lock yourself into those positions. The more you clarify your position and defend it against attack, the more committed you become to it. The more you try to convince the other side of the impossibility of changing your opening position, the more difficult it becomes to do so. Your ego becomes identified with your position. You now have a new interest in "saving face" - in reconciling future action with past positions - making it less likely that any agreement will wisely reconcile the parties' original interest.

Arguing over positions is inefficient

Bargaining over positions creates incentives that stall settlement. Trying to improve any chance that any settlement is favorable to you by stubbornly holding to your position by deceiving the other party as to your true views to keep negotiations going. 

Decision-making is difficult and time-consuming at best. Dragging one's feet, threatening to walk out, stonewalling, and other such tactics all increase the time and costs of reaching an agreement as well as risk that no agreement will be reached at all.

Let's look at an Alternative

1. Separate the people from the problem

The first point responds to the fact that human beings are not computers. We are creatures of strong emotions who often have radically different perceptions and have difficulty communicating clearly. Taking positions just makes this worse because people's egos become identified with their positions.

2. Focus on interests, not positions

Overcome the drawback of focusing on people's stated positions when the object of the negotiation is to satisfy their underlying interest. Compromising between positions is not likely to produce an agreement that will effectively take care of the human needs that led you to adopt those positions.

3. Invent multiple options looking for mutual gains before deciding what to do.

Sometimes it is difficult designing optimal solutions while under pressure. Having a lot at stake inhibits creativity. So does searching for the right solution. Set aside a designated time within which to think up a wide range of possible solutions that advance shared interests and creatively reconcile differing interests.

4. Insist that the result be based on some objective standard

This does not mean insisting that the terms be based on the standard you select, but only that some fair standard such as market value, expert opinion, custom, or law determine that outcome. 

Note options that are already on the table and identify any criteria already suggested as a basis for agreement.

How do you propose to ahndle the people problem? Of your interests, which are most important? And what are some realistic objectives?

Differences in perception, feelings of frustration and anger, and difficulties in communication can be acknowledged and addressed. Each side should come to understand the interests of the other. 

To sum it up

Focusing on basic interests, mutually satisfying options, and fair standards typically results in a wise agreement. And separating the people from the problem allows you to deal directly and empathetically with the other party as a human being regardless of any substantive differences, thus making possible an amicable outcome.  


This blog is an excerpt from" Getting To Yes" Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In 

Monday, October 5, 2020

Is Mediation a Solution to my problem?


 What Is Mediation?

Mediation as the intervention in dispute negotiations facilitated by a third-party mediator provides an objective voice to steer the issue towards resolution. The primary job of the mediator is to help the parties find a common ground for agreement. The process will free the parties from their position of scarce resources and open their eyes to a creative solution. The mediator identifies the issues to understand the problem along with realizing common interests.  

From the analyzing phase a mediator will assess the dynamics of the parties to best understand how to frame the issues so that the negotiations will result in amicable solutions for both parties. Mediators maintain a neutral presence to control the negotiations and guide the parties in problem solving.

 Why Should I Pay To Mediate My Dispute?

Mediation's are advantageous if, 

    1) the issues in dispute and the number of parties are relatively few in number and readily identifiable; 

    2) the parties must be able to establish sufficient channels of communication to permit joint problem solving, and ;

    3) the uncertainty concerning the outcome of unilateral action must be moderately high for all parties. 

It reduces the impact of stress on the parties and can be done in a shorter time frame. Mediation provides an opportunity for creative solutions so that the parties can respect the new roles in the future. The mediation will usually reduce your legal fees.

When Is Mediation Not An Answer?

It is not a simple resolution for families with large estates or where there has been physical, mental or emotional abuse or legal matters that require adjudication. If a party withholds information during the mediation, there is no legal recourse that you might otherwise have in court. If one party has significant more power (competition, scarcity, risk taking and ethics) than the other it would not be an appropriate choice.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Seeking Resolution

Aristotle of ancient Athens, definition of justice “Giving people what they deserve”. So, we ask “who deserves what and why?”

 Conflicts arise from 

    1. Incomplete communication- one of the parties to the conflict did not hear the whole story.

    2. Inaccurate information- one of the parties to the conflict had the wrong information.

    3. Stress overload- one of the parties to the dispute was confused, overloaded, or stressed.

    4. Different viewpoints-the parties to the dispute see things differently; the parties may have different beliefs or values.

    5. Limited resources- neither party can have it all because there is not enough to go around

 Mediation or conciliation is the process of bringing together two sides, with a neutral third-party mediator, to agree to a voluntary compromise.

The purpose is to establish and practice the rights of the people to receive justice. 

Resolving conflicts requires hard work and tenacity. Resolution is much better than settling! Resolution provides relief and completeness. The situation no longer gnaws at your gut. 

Let's resolve the issue.