Be Flexible in your Solutions and Options for Resolutions

Mediation Minute

To achieve this step in the process, set aside time to create a wide range of solutions that advance shared interest. This can be done before and during your negotiation or mediation.

There are 4 major obstacles which inhibit consideration of options:

  1. Premature judgment
    • Hinders imagination and possibilities.
  2. Searching for a single answer
    • by looking from the outset for the single best answer, you are likely to short-circuit a wiser decision-making process in which you select from a large number of possible answers.
  3. Assumed a fixed pie
    • instead of trying to more advantageously divide the existing pie, consider ways to make a bigger pie.
  4. Thinking that “solving their problem is their problem.”
    • For a negotiator to reach an agreement that meets their own self-interest they need to develop a solution which also appeal to the self-interest of the other party.

Invent ways of making the other side’s decisions easier and invent agreements of different strengths:

  • Stronger 
    • Substantive
    • Permanent
    • Comprehensive
    • Final
    • Unconditional
    • Binding
    • First-order
    • Objective
  • Weaker
    • Procedural
    • Provisional
    • Partial
    • In principle
    • Contingent
    • Nonbinding
    • Second-order

If a party will narrow the scope of the negotiation to manageable issues and broaden the negotiation to make the solution more amenable to the other party, a positive resolution is more realistic.  Preparation for negations is key to the process.