PGP Mediation
Los Angeles Area Dispute Resolution
local 213-630-8810 toll free 800-550-2503

LA Alternative Dispute Resolution Law Blog

To Mediate or Not To Mediate Now, That is the Question

With the upmost respect and acknowledgment to Hamlet's famous soliloquy in Shakespeare's Hamlet, (Act 3, Scen3 1, lines 55-87), the question often arises of when should the parties attempt to negotiate a settlement, through mediation or otherwise.

Which System is in Control?

In his bestselling book, Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2011) notes that our brains contain two systems of thought: System 1 which "... operates automatically and quickly, with little or no effort and no sense of voluntary control" (Id. at 20) and System 2 which "...allocates attention to the effortful mental activities that demand it, including complex computations...." (Id. at 21.)

Listening For the Emotions

Have you ever attempted to calm down an emotional person? Our natural inclination is to deny the emotional content of what the speaker is saying by using logic and/or facts such as, "There is no reason to get upset", "Calm down", "You are over-reacting", "You have misunderstood", "Maybe it is because...."; "Don't be so sensitive", "Let's look at the facts...", "If you really think about it....", et cetera. (Micro-Interventions in Mediation, by Douglas E. Noll at pp. 15-23 (2014))

How You Dress Matters!

Once again, the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School has published an interesting blog by Katie Shonk (In Business Negotiations, Dress the Part, June 24, 2014) discussing what we all know but do not always think about: as part of any negotiation, one must dress the part. As she explains, if one is negotiating with an apparel company, the worst thing one can do is wear a competitor's clothing to the negotiation! Also, one may not want to show up in business attire but rather the apparel typical of the company with whom one is negotiating.

It is all about the Food

Something tells me that being a foodie if not a chef should be part of the job description of a mediator.   About a month ago, I wrote about a study that showed how one's grumpiness and thus willingness to settle disputes depends on the level of one's blood sugar; the grumpier one is, the greater the likelihood that one wants to stick pins in a voodoo doll representing the opposing party.(See, "It's All in the Blood Sugar")

Anger Management

Let us suppose that you are at a mediation or in some sort of negotiation and the other party has just said something that has gotten you so angry, you are ready to grab your belongings and storm out of the mediation/negotiation.

865 S. Figueroa Street, Suite 1388 Los Angeles, CA 90017 Phone: 213-630-8810 Toll-Free: 800-550-2503 Fax: 213-630-8890 Map and Directions