From the blog of Nancy Hudgins
Face it. We all like to be appreciated. Even lawyers. Even opposing counsel.
From Fisher and Shapiro, Beyond Reason:
“If you and the other side appreciate one another, you are more likely to reach a wise agreement than if each side feels unappreciated. In fact, you benefit by helping the other side feel appreciated, whether or not they reciprocate. They will tend to feel more at ease and cooperative. And by appreciating them, you are more likely to foster their appreciation of you.”
They suggest expressing appreciation by working to understand the other side’s point of view, looking for merit in what they think, do or feel, and communicating that we understand. By asking questions we can work to understand the other’s point of view.
Of course, there’s no point in asking unless you are prepared to actively listen to the answer. One way to actively listen is to reflect back what the person has said, to make sure you understand. You can do this by summarizing the facts of what they said (So if I understand you…), or, more dangerously, by noting the underlying emotion (It sounds like you’re frustrated by how this went down…).
Once you “get” them, the next step is to find something of value in their position. If you can’t agree on their position, perhaps you can look for merit in the way they reached their position.
Then, let them know. Tell them what you appreciate about their viewpoint or their logic or their reasoning or their openness or their forthrightness. This is not giving in. This is finding something to appreciate and stating it. Be authentic in your appreciation.
Once people feel heard and appreciated, they are more likely to listen to you. Now you’ve set the table to persuade.
Joy Rosenthal's Mediation Blog“I only want what is equitable. That is my operating principle,” Raymond explained as he sat across from me the first time we met. His wife, Lenore,...By Joy Rosenthal
It's an interesting thing, mediator ethics. I know that many mediators, particularly those that had a stint as Judges in prior lives, advise the parties before them that they will...By Jan Frankel Schau
CMP Resolution Blog by Lesley Allport and Katherine Graham.We trust ourselves to be fair-minded. We’re not ones to leap to conclusions. But whenever it comes to other people, our prejudices...By Lesley Allport