Does Narrative Mediation Have A Role In Civil Case Mediation?

As briefly described in a previous post, I have been studying a mediation model called narrative mediation and implementing some of its techniques in my practice.  Narrative mediation techniques are focused on improving the relational aspects of conflict — that is improving the relationship of the parties.  This is why narrative mediation has a strong foothold in family mediation and community mediation in some places …

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narrative mediation

For the past 18 months or so, I have been studying and trying to implement in my mediation practice, techniques from a “discipline” called Narrative Mediation. Narrative Mediation is not new even though it is relatively new to me. John Winslade and Gerald Monk published “Narrative Mediation: A New Approach to Conflict Resolution” in 2000. Winslade and Monk’s work in turn grew out of narrative …

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how to win every mediation

Any article on winning must start by defining the term. Unlike most of what we do as litigators, mediation never results in an absolute “win.” Some settlements feel more like wins than others and settlement alone is not the right judge of win or loss.  With motions, trial, or arbitration it is usually possible to distinguish a win from a loss, even when there is …

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The Mediator’s Role In Positional Bargaining, Part 1

In spite of an acknowledged preference for interest-based “principled” negotiation, I acknowledged in my previous post that every civil mediation eventually becomes a positional battle.  This is largely because virtually every civil litigation is resolved based upon an exchange of money and litigation combatants are rarely seeking to preserve a long-term relationship after resolution. If, in fact, negotiations in mediation become an exchange of offers …

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Is Positional Bargaining Unavoidable?

One of the primary tenets of Roger Fisher and William Ury’s book “Getting to Yes” is that negotiations should focus on interests not positions, i.e., avoid positional bargaining.  Positional bargaining takes place when each side takes a position, argues for that position, and reluctantly makes concessions from the opening position.  Fisher & Ury instead contend that wiser and more efficient agreements are reached when the …

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Getting to Yes: Focus on Interests Not Positions

By far the most often quoted tenet of “the Method” is to avoid positional bargaining and instead focus on the underlying interests of the opposite sides. Fisher & Ury illustrate their point with the story of two people in a library arguing over whether a window should be open or closed. The opposing positions are open on the one hand and closed on the other. …

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Getting to Yes: Separate the People from the Problem

The first tenet of what Fisher & Ury call “The Method” is to separate the people from the problem. Although I think I understood their point when I first read the book, over time what stuck with me was the title not the underlying principal. As an advocate and mediator dealing primarily with business disputes, it is tempting to try and simplify the negotiation by …

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Back To The Basics

I have recently been reading a number of relatively new books with claims of a revolutionary new way to approach negotiation. Without exception and without naming names, each new source has been insightful and a new perspective on the negotiation process that every one of us is involved in every day. Almost without exception, however, each new source compares itself to the classic negotiation manual …

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