Mediation : Trade Secrets

Mediation Hints and TipsWelcome to our series of tips and “how tos” about mediation.

This series of posts has mediation hints and tips to help you get the best results for your clients, including:

Negotiation is the lifeblood of the work of claims professionals.

You are skilled at pitching the right opening offer, a concession here and there, a little heel digging and a final “horse trade” to nail the deal.

That is how the job has always been done.  Most cases that travel this route do settle both quickly and for the right money. It has stood the test of time and will continue to do so.

But what of those cases that do not settle promptly or at all, and where costs continue to mount up?  It is all too common today for there to be no real dialogue between the parties for many reasons:

  • it seems to be a common tactic these days for some parties not to engage (“if they have an offer to make let them make it in writing”); or
  • when one party phones another to discuss, the other party is focussed on another matter;  or
  • it may be that perhaps one or both parties have worked the negotiation so that it is difficult for either to offer more, even though they have it to offer, without loss of credibility.

At that point the negotiators have to wait for a new opportunity for dialogue, and that may be costly in terms of costs and claims “pipelines”.

A fresh and innovative approach.

Canny negotiators recognise these impasses at an early stage and have a variety of strategies to deploy.  A common technique is to change the dynamics of the negotiating team by adding fresh faces and thinking from those not tainted by the impasse. Much like a football manager making strategic substitutions to change the shape of his team.  Of course in claims work with a “one on one” negotiation this is not always possible or desirable but one way to achieve it is by bringing in a mediator.

This series of posts answers your questions enabling you to add mediation to your dispute resolution tool box.