Check out the website of the lively new mediation partnership I am developing with Lori Pinkerton-Rolet: Mediation by Design.
It has a blog where now and then we offer our thoughts on mediation in action. Such as this one, on the importance of scrutinising very closely (but ideally not too obviously) the anatomy of warlords during tense mediation meetings:
The warlords had been briefed to be intransigent and obnoxious but then start haggling to see who could get the best deal. Both wanted the conference to succeed, but neither wanted to say so.
I watched the discussions evolve more or less as planned. Then I saw it.
The man playing warlord A would swallow hard before making any concession. His laryngeal prominence (aka Adam’s Apple) oscillated quite vigorously, perhaps from stress, as he made up his mind. Once you spotted this it was hard to notice anything else.
Neither the other warlord nor the mediator noticed this. They were too busy arguing with him and with themselves. Had they done so, it would have given each of them a big clue about the state of warlord A’s mind without warlord A realising it and, perhaps, helped them manoeuvre a way to a more favourable outcome.
A good mediator listens carefully to what the parties are saying when they are speaking.
The best mediators listen no less carefully to what they are saying when they are not speaking…
Anyone out there have a tricky problem that might benefit from some smart his/her advice or insight lest it spiral into a messy lawyered expensive row?
You now know where to go for help.