Negotiating requires one to keep their balance.


Having to cross a deep ravine using a rope bridge can challenge your balance. A good negotiating opponent will similarly keep testing your footing. The best way to keep your balance is to be focused and have taken the time to be well prepared.

Keeping one's balance is essential as a mediator or negotiator.

For the mediator, each party will try to get their points made and solicit the support of the mediator to make the other person listen. The mediator, by definition, must remain impartial. This can be challenging if one person is obviously being less than realistic in his or her demands. But the key to a successful mediation is a mediator who can ferry between the parties helping each to get comfortable with compromises that bring about resolution. This is a task of balancing information flow and presentation.

There are times that the best efforts of the mediator fail to convert one of the parties who is openly arrogant and unreasonable. In a break out session the mediator will need to impress on this person the need to carefully rethink what he is doing. The mediator will stress that the alternative to an arbitrated settlement is to have a judge hand down a binding decision. That decision may not be what the individual wants to hear, and in the mediator's best judgment, it would be better to reach an accord now than risk such a decision.

During the mediation, the parties have the chance to impact the outcome. In court they lose this luxury.

In a negotiation if the other person is acting unreasonably you have several options. You can walk away from the table, you can capitulate, or you can act like a mediator and explain to the other person that he or she has two choices. He can become realistic and work with you as a professional, or he can find someone else to sell to, lease from, etc., depending on the situation.

Then you proceed to tell him why you are his best option (as compared to a judge in the case of the mediator).

This is a 'soft-bluff' designed to get him involved in resolving the situation rather than fighting you. You are taking on the role of the parent, AKA mediator, to guide the other person into becoming more participative. If successful you will have finessed the situation and proved your skills as a negotiator.