As a young trial lawyer in the 1980’s I had a take no prisoners approach when negotiating. The theory was that you only show strength, never weakness and power your way to convincing the other side of the value of your case.
Validate or show respect for your adversary’s arguments? Blasphemy!
Smile and just be chill when negotiating with your adversary? Not in warfare!
Decades later, and now into a second career in the alternative dispute world, I have become fascinated with the art and science behind dispute resolution. Not how to bully and muscle one’s way to a result but the psychology and sociology involved in interpersonal dispute resolution.
In attempting to redefine ADR, we can build a zen-like space to promote an atmosphere of conciliation. We can create innovative products and services like the ADR 2 Step and our Case Unilateral Submission Program (CUSP). But most importantly, at the end of the day, it’s essentially about the Neutral and the multifaceted construct of their character and abilities.
A substantial disagreement with your significant other ends, thankfully, short of all-out war. Amazingly, minutes later , your partner pulls a 180 degree turn and starts talking calmly about what the problem is and how to resolve. But, you are absolutely not ready! The constructive part of your psyche has been shut down by the pit in your stomach and negative energy within. All you can think of is walking away from the disagreement and coming back to the dispute at another place and another time…or maybe you’ll just shelve it and never revisit it. Sound familiar? (more…)
I was watching a New York Giants Football game years ago– the Giants made various mistakes but generally played a very good game. Due to a last minute, unlucky bounce, they lost. The next day the narrative on talk radio and most callers was “Bad Giants”. But for that bad bounce, the narrative would have been “Good Giants”. (more…)