Momentum Makers and Impasse Breakers: Practical Mediation Tools - Dispute Resolution Journal - Vol. 74, No. 2
Originally from Dispute Resolution Journal
Effective mediation is both a science and an art. Mediators, conciliators, and facilitators of assisted negotiation do many things to create and build momentum in negotiations and to prevent and overcome impasses when they occur. Parties use a diverse array of negotiation tactics and stratagems. Parties miscommunicate and sometimes even avoid communicating altogether when engagement would be the better course of conduct. Poor communication, misperceptions, misinterpretations, and destructive negotiation tactics all contribute to negotiation breakdowns.
Disputes and conflicts can appear intractable. In facilitating the negotiation of people in conflict, mediators deal with a highly dynamic and situation-specific confluence of personalities, perceptions, and procedures and their effect upon interests, needs, wants, and values. When parties reach impasses in their negotiations, they can reach out to others for guidance and help. Such resources may include their trusted advisors, consultants, facilitators, and friends. Parties can also reach out to independent conciliators and mediators to facilitate the search for resolution and accords. Mediators use a wide range of negotiation and mediation strategies in their efforts to help disputing parties find acceptable solutions and agreements. With the assistance of third-party conciliators and facilitators, what appeared intractable and insoluble proves to be resolvable.
Understanding why and when a particular strategy, process, or approach proves effective in advancing the course of negotiations and averting an impasse is an endlessly fascinating subject of study. This article will present to you a broad spectrum of tools, approaches, and strategies that have been used successfully by mediators and conciliators to build, advance, and maintain momentum in negotiations until resolutions are reached.