puzzle over chess


Have you ever considered mediation or negotiation like a strategic game of chess, where the player with the cleverest moves, strong determination, and strategic tactics comes out on top? Unfortunately, this competitive mindset often leads to a scenario where one side wins at the expense of the other, or, even worse, both parties end up losing.

To master the mediation mindset, a mere change in approach is more likely to result in a scenario where both sides can win.  By changing your methodology to a collaborative process, your mediation is more likely to result in a scenario where both sides can win.  Some might see this approach as less assertive, especially if you enjoy the competitive nature of negotiations. However, think of it as COLLABORATING ON A CHALLINGING PUZZLE instead of just trying to win.  After all, isn’t the goal really to walk away from mediation with the problem solved?

Now, let’s discuss the ineffective mediation negotiator. They tend to cling to their own ideas, set unrealistic goals, and become too attached to their stance. The more emotionally invested they become, the more aggressively they pursue their goals, losing sight of the bigger picture. The key is not to fixate too much on your position but to work collaboratively to solve the puzzle. It’s like playing a game together rather than against each other. Collaboration is the key!

As you enter a mediation, keep in mind the importance of maintaining a cooperative and friendly attitude. Use open and clear communication, and be willing to listen to the other party’s perspective. Remember, it’s not just about pushing your own ideas but finding common ground for a mutually beneficial outcome. Let’s say that again for the people in the back, “IT IS NOT ABOUT PUSHING YOUR ADJENDA, BUT RATHER FINDING COMMON GROUND.” Effective negotiators separate individuals from the issues, avoiding personal conflicts and focusing on the substance of the negotiation.

The most effective negotiators use open, cooperative, and friendly strategies. They understand the importance of separating individuals from the issues at hand, avoiding personal conflicts. Instead, they focus on the substance of the negotiation, steering clear of fixation on the individuals involved. They can be tough on the problem while maintaining a soft approach with the people. This cooperative style, combined with sustaining positive relationships with the opposing side, ensures a fair outcome for both parties. In puzzle-solving exercises, negotiators who collaborate effectively were twice as successful as their competitive counterparts. So, while a competitive edge is desirable, it must be balanced with a collaborative spirit. Adhering to these principles significantly enhances the likelihood of creating outcomes that benefit both sides, fostering positive, long-term relationships.