27 Jun 2014
Mediation - the remedy for sick negotiation
In effect, mediation is the medicine for ailing negotiation – inherently any situation that can be negotiated can be mediated. But perhaps the real power of mediation skills come when they are used as prevention and not just cure for any potential discord or disagreement whether this be in the office, in the home or on the street.
Mediation focuses on shifting emphasis from blame and rights based arguments towards current needs and interest based problem solving. This requires a forward looking strategy rather than raking over old disputed territory. Take a typical dispute scenario:
You enter into a deal. A dispute arises, you try to negotiate, lawyers are called in to negotiate but the dispute spirals into entrenchment and lawsuits. Even if you do manage to settle at the ninth hour as many litigious cases do you will almost certainly not have a future relationship with the other side in the future, you may well have lost business, it will certainly have cost a great deal in time energy and perhaps even personal kudos within your own organisation or team.
So many times when being referred disputes for mediation, CEDR hears these words from either one, or quite often both, of the parties: "It should never have got to this point". If only someone within the organisation or team had had the skills to take an impartial view to assist those involved to focus on current and future commercial needs rather than on who is to blame for what has happened in the past.
Those who have trained to become mediators, regardless of their professional background or current roles acknowledge almost unanimously in the power of these skills to change their attitudes and approaches to conflict.
“This is without a doubt excellent training in mediator skills by experienced mediators who are also top class trainers, I will never look at deadlock the same way again…”
Director, Insurance Claims
“I did not think it would be possible to shift my views how to negotiate a dispute – until now. It must go without saying that the CEDR course is the Rolls Royce of mediation skills training.”
General Counsel, Oil & Gas Company