… when it comes to interests…
This is the third in my Mediation Mindset series.
My first post found you and your friend, on a Friday evening, in a tug-of-war over where to have dinner which resulted in each capitulating. The back story was that after subliminal and silent solo decision-making you and your friend each announced your preferred outcome then commenced a polite power struggle which ended in compromise then in solo dining. To reframe: you told each other your preferred outcome and left the other to infer what was important to you about your preferred outcomes.
My second post found you and your friend, on the following Monday evening, in discussion over where to have dinner which resulted in mutual decision-making. That back story is that after progressively gathering, discovering and communicating information about what was important to each of you, you and your friend crafted a mutual outcome.
On the Friday evening your starting point was preferred outcome.
Your negotiation was a bargaining style: I will do this if you will do that. There was an element of ‘Fish & chips’ v ‘Korean restaurant’. Your bargaining led you to a compromise: a Chinese restaurant.
As it happened, the restaurant was closed, so you each had another decision to make. You each decided that your alternative to your negotiated agreement was to eat separately at home which was unsatisfactory relative to both your original decision to have dinner together and your preferred outcomes.
Figure 7. shows how acceptable the compromise was for each of you, relative to each of your preferred outcomes.
On Monday evening you arranged to dine out together again. There is an element of you + your friend v the plethora of possibilities.
Your starting point this time was:
What is important to you about dining out?
What is important to me about dining out is…
Your negotiation was a value adding negotiation: how can we meet your important criteria and my important criteria? Your approach was ‘what is important to you + what is important to me’. This led you to a Peruvian cafe, which while it was neither fish & chips nor a Korean restaurant, it did involve a clarifying discussion and it did meet the criteria that were important to you.
Figure 8. shows the extent to which your important criteria were each met, relative to all of your criteria.
The resolution that you reached on Monday evening is likely to have demonstrated your commitment to each other; to have validated you each as unique people; broadened and deepen your own self-awareness and reduced the tension of Friday evening.
The Friday evening negotiation may have left yours and your friend’s sense of self diminished; the Monday evening negotiation is likely to have strengthened yours and your friend’s senses of self and your senses of connection.
Figure 9. shows the difference in acceptability and criteria of importance for each of you between the Chinese restaurant in the Peruvian cafe that is, between bargaining between preferred outcomes and negotiating to create a joint outcome.
Mediation is a facilitated, structured process in which each participant chooses to focus on seeking to meet their own needs while addressing the others’ needs…that is in which it is in your interests to accommodate the others’ interests and in the others’ interests to accommodate your interests … and in doing so to create a robust agreement.