...This has always been true, but according to renowned mediator, Jeffrey Krivis, in a global economy the implications of conflict are more profound than ever before.
"In a world where relationships matter more than ever, mediation skills matter more than ever," said Krivis
, author of "Improvisational Negotiation."Krivis
serves corporations and individuals from all walks of life, helping them settle disputes before they end up in the courtroom.His
book, which is packed with stories from his
own experiences, reveals some fascinating ways he
and other mediators have helped people to reach creative, mutually beneficial solutions.
What exactly is negotiation?Krivis
said it's reframing a situation in order to get people to shift their positions in a way that makes a resolution possible.
"It's amazing how well the isolation technique works," Krivis
asked the plaintiff, "What is it you really want to achieve here?"
"The plaintiff almost broke down," Krivis
"You can learn a lot about how each party sees a dispute by paying attention to body language and listening closely not only to their words but also to the emotional tone behind their words," Krivis
"People tend to get 'stuck' in their positions because they are telling what happened from a narrow viewpoint and in a negative and hopeless tone," Krivis
Here's the bottom line, said Krivis
: Don't rush the dance or the negotiation will fail."Even when you know you can wrap things up quickly, it's to everyone's advantage to keep the negotiation proceeding normally, for a reasonable amount of time, before the inevitable settlement," he
10. Realize That Every Conflict Can't be SolvedWhat if you've tried and tried to help two warring factions find a fair solution and you just can't?It may sound odd coming from a mediator, but Krivis points out that some conflicts just aren't winnable."Not every negotiation is going to have a win-win outcome," he
said."Not everyone can live together in harmony.There are times you just have to accept that both parties are going to leave the table equally unhappy.When you've mediated enough conflicts, you will know in your gut when that time has arrived.Isolate the participants if possible and just move on."
All this talk of well-paced dances, inner clocks and gut feelings may seem alien to "just the facts" business types, but Krivis
said you'd better get comfortable with the idea that there are no hard and fast rules.Negotiation is all about going with the flow and seizing opportunities as they arise.You can familiarize yourself with the tools, but there's no substitute for jumping right in. About the AuthorJeffrey Krivis has been a successful mediator and a pioneer in the field for 16 years.He has served as the president of the International Academy of Mediators and the Southern California Mediation Association.Krivis is on the board of visitors of Pepperdine Law School and serves as an adjunct professor of law at the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution.
In 1993, he
received the Dispute Resolution Lawyer of the Year Award.Contact him via his