negotiation and mediation
What is Negotiation and Mediation?
Negotiation and mediation are complementary tools in the dealmaking process. But you need to use them strategically for the best outcomes.
Veteran mediators believe that establishing rapport is more important to effective mediation than employing specific mediation techniques and tactics. Negotiation and mediation are similar in this respect.
To gain parties’ trust and confidence, rapport must be genuine. You can’t fake it. Before people are willing to settle, they must feel that their interests are truly understood. Only then can you achieve a true win-win outcome in both negotiation and mediation.
The importance of relationship building, especially in contentious situations, cannot be overstated. Some measure of trust is required before people will open up and reveal their true interests.
We tend to think negotiation and mediation processes are all alike, but in fact, negotiators and mediators follow different approaches depending on the type of situation they are dealing with. There are many different kinds of negotiation and mediation you can employ to reach successful agreements.
Many negotiation and mediation professionals draw from other disciplines for a range of purposes. Insights from social psychology, for instance, can help us understand, explain, or predict certain interpersonal and inter-group dynamics. Ideas from economics and game theory can shed light on various value-creation principles. The performing arts, including improvisational theater, can help us develop real-time listening and adapting skills.
Just as in negotiation, it’s not enough just to get the right people to the table in mediation. How communication is balanced carries important symbolic messages about respect. More powerful parties need to be especially careful not to inadvertently dominate conversations and put others in a position where they feel they must save face.
Discover how you can select the right mediator, understand the mediation process, and engage a mediator to ensure a good outcome. Get this free special report, Mediation Secrets for Better Business Negotiations: Top Techniques from Mediation Training Experts, from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School right now.
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