Finding Ways to Accommodate One Another
In mediation, people do find ways to accommodate the needs and interests of one another in order to resolve their disputes.
To prompt this occurrence, I often say that “one has to give up something to get something.”
A simplified example would be that in order to agree on a larger sum to be received, one might have to agree to a payment schedule that allows the payor to manage the expense over time.
There are other accommodations to be made in mediation which have nothing to do with the settlement agreement to be negotiated.
These are personal accommodations.
As I write this, I am thinking of a recent mediation in which one of the participants needed accommodation for her wheelchair.
To make room, other participants willingly and generously moved obstacles from the conference room, including chairs, boxes and other things.
In another mediation, one party brought cookies. Maybe it was a peace offering.
I have often given facial tissues, or excused a person to get some fresh air, when I have perceived that someone is visibly upset and needed some emotional space.
People have accommodated me, as well, when I have had to change a hearing aid battery in the midst of a significant conversation.
Thankfully, there is an underlying generosity and kindness in all of us, even under the most intense of circumstances, as in mediation.
It is a welcome sight when even ardent opponents find ways to accommodate one another on a personal level.
Ultimately, too, it helps to encourage peacemaking in the mediation.
David I. Karp is a full time independent mediator of real estate and business disputes in Southern California. His website is at http://karpmediation.com .