Find Mediators Near You:

Going To The Balcony

From the blog of Nancy Hudgins

As lawyers, we evaluate a case and expect it to settle in a certain range. We also expect the other side will act in a certain way. When the negotiation does not go the way we expected, we react. The reaction is instinctive and emotional. Hey, we’re human. When the other side attacks you or your client or your case evaluation, one of your strategies can be to go to the balcony.

Bill Ury, in Getting Past No, expounded upon this strategy. If you assume the negotiation is taking place on a theater stage, going to the balcony of the theater can give you a broader perspective of what’s really going on. It has the following salutary effects.

It distances you from the fray.

It de-activates your reactive mind.

It calms your emotions.

It allows you to slow down the negotiation.

It affords you time to name the game the other side is playing and decide how to react logically, as opposed to emotionally.

When negative emotions come up, and they will, take a deep breath. Take a time out, either literally or figuratively. Think through what just happened. Remember your negotiation goals.

We’ve all heard the slogan, “Don’t get angry, get even.” In negotiation, it’s not about getting angry or about getting even. As Ury points out, it’s about getting what your client wants.

                        author

Nancy Hudgins

Nancy Hudgins, a San Francisco mediator and lawyer, began specializing in civil litigation in the 1970's. She has represented both plaintiffs and defendants, chiefly in personal injury, medical malpractice, elder abuse and product liability lawsuits, but also in a wide variety of complex litigation, including civil rights, fraud and class… MORE >

Featured Members

ad
View all

Read these next

Category

When Did Asking Questions Become a Sign of Weakness?

The other day I heard a story about a mom that had decided to go back to school to get her Masters Degree to further her career. She was in...

By Jason Dykstra
Category

The Answer Is Blowing In the Wind

This article originally appeared in the Conflict Resolution Center Internatonal Newsletter. Re-published with permission. I meet Snjezana Mrse at the Fourth European Conference on Peacemaking and Conflict Resolution in Belfast....

By Paul Wahrhaftig
Category

The Power Of The Past In Workplace Conflict

From Lorraine Segal's Conflict Remedy BlogIs it more helpful to remember or forget past workplace conflict? The famous line from George Santayana, “Those who do not remember the past are...

By Lorraine Segal
×