R. David Donoghue over at the Chicago IP Litigation Blog is hosting a “Carnival” of Blogs that is new to me — The Carnival of Trust.
As David explains:
The Carnival of Trust is a monthly, traveling review of ten of the last month’s best posts related to various aspects of trust in the business world. It is much like the weekly Blawg Reviews that I post links to and have hosted, but those generally contain far more than ten links. My job this month was to pick those ten posts for you and provide an introduction to each post that makes you want to click through and read more.
We’re pleased that our sister blog — Settle It Now — is included in the category Trust in Leadership and Management along with Charles H. Green’s Trust Matters; George Ambler’s Practice of Leadership; and Stephen Albainy-Jenei’s Patent Baristas (if they gave awards for blog template design, PB would win in my book every day of the week). In this crowd I feel like Zelig!
Here’s David’s generous mention of the Settle It Now Negotiation Blog and my recent post on convincing your clients to give up more than you (their attorney) predicted while still maintaining your credibility.
On the subject of trust-based leadership, Victoria Pynchon at the Settle It Now, Negotiation Blog has an excellent guide for maintaining your client’s trust during a difficult negotiation: How Can I Convince My Client to Lose More than Predicted and Still Maintain My Own Credibility? The answer is complex and multi-faceted, but it boils down to the fact that you have to get the stakeholders and decision makers face-to-face, get their buy in on resolution as a goal (in addition to winning), explore all avenues of resolution, and you have to let them explore all aspects of the dispute, even those that do not matter. The last point is a difficult one for lawyers. As a lawyer you generally want to remain focused on the settlement inputs — money, confidentiality provisions, sale of existing product if something about the product is being changed, etc. — but from a trust perspective it is important that the stakeholders resolve not just those issues that go into a final agreement, but any problems or concerns they have related to the dispute or the parties to the dispute.
And let me just add here — though I’ll sound like a broken record to my regular readers — that business people seek out lawyers because they believe themselves to be victims of injustice. (see my short-short video on this topic here)
Though I, as a mediator, am always seeking business solutions to legal problems, the client’s injustice problem must be addressed to maintain your credibility (and retain your client’s trust.). Every great mediator I know will address this issue with your client unbidden. If you’re using less than great mediators — raise the issue yourself — all competent mediators should be prepared to address the issues foremost on your client’s mind right including — Will I lose? How much more is this going to cost me? and Am I Being Extorted or Low-Balled?
Thanks for the mention, David! We’re happy to see Settle It Now mentioned by an IP Blog as influential as yours. Every IP dispute involves the same issues as every other commercial dispute, requiring the parties to go beyond their legal positions; explore all of both parties’ commercial interests; create value from potential business synergies; claim as much of that value as possible; craft business solutions to legal problems; and, frankly address the injustice issues that led your client to seek you out in the first place.
They’ll be yours for life.