Similar Negotiation Skills Needed in Business and Family Disputes

Whether you are participating in a business transaction or dispute resolution. If you plan on having a continued relationship with the person on the other side, it is imperative that you understand the principles of negotiation. I deal with small business owners looking to grow their business, or needing to resolve an issue with a current or former customer. I also work with husbands and wives interested in resolving family disputes through mediation. A common thread runs through these situations when the parties intend to have ongoing relationships after the negotiation is completed. Sometimes an ongoing relationship is not desired, but the situation requires long-term contact and communication.

This common thread is avoiding greed. In a situation where a small business owner wishes to grow his business by connecting with potential new clients, earning their trust, and gaining their business. It is essential to not come off as greedy, or in it only for your own benefit. Appreciation for their business, and an understanding that the relationship is mutual and not one sided helps to build loyalty and create a long-term relationship. The same goes for business and family disputes. If a dispute arises and you look to negotiate with the other party to resolve the issue, the other party must be able to see a benefit to working with you. There must be a reason why the solution you desire appeals to them or else negotiation efforts will break down. No one wants to feel taken advantage of, or duped into a solution they will not be happy with.

Check out Chris Myers’ article titled, 3 Overlooked Negotiation Skills Entrepreneurs Need To Master, published on Forbes.com, March 27, 2017. He has a great story of how he learned negotiation skills while becoming an entrepreneur.

Favorite Quote: Every Business is a Family Business

One of my favorite quotes from the book E-Myth by Michael Gerber is: Every Business is a Family Business. Whether a business officially employs individuals from the family or not, the business is a family business. At some point the family members, even the individuals outside the business or not directly influencing day-to-day operations, may depend on the family as a financial resource.

When disputes arise in family businesses things can get complicated. Personal opinions can cloud business decisions and business elements can impact personal feelings and emotions. Solving legal issues in a family business without going to court can save time and money as well as family relationships.

 

A great source for information about mediation can be found on http://www.mediate.com.
Check out a link to an article about family business mediation:
Family Business Mediation: Solving Legal Issues Without Going to Court by Stephen McDonough. January 2017.
http://www.mediate.com/articles/McDonoughS1.cfm.

 

 

Negotiation: Getting To Yes

One of the best books I’ve read on the subject of negotiation is Getting To Yes by Roger Fisher and William Ury. They have gone on to write additional books and coordinated lectures on the topic, but for a quick read ( I think 150 pages or so) this book is the go to for negotiation.

Negotiation is not just for the business setting. We are constantly negotiating with our coworkers, spouse, and children. Getting To Yes offers a variety of interesting tactics for optimizing your negotiation skills.
Image result for getting to yes book

Please note: This is not a paid advertisement. The book is a Bestseller, quick read, and highly educational!

What is mediation?

According to a Google search, mediation is intervention in a dispute in order to resolve it; arbitration. However, this simple definition often causes confusion. Mediation is NOT arbitration!

Arbitration is the private, judicial determination of a dispute, by an independent third party. Think of it as submitting your case, or arguing your case to an arbitrator rather than a judge.

While mediation and arbitration are both dispute resolution processes, they are very different in practice.

Mediation can be thought of as assisted negotiation. While the mediator helps the parties reach an agreement each is satisfied with, the mediator does not evaluate each sides view or determine who is right or wrong. A mediator does not determine the terms by which the parties will be held accountable.

 

Mediation is a voluntary meetingprocess. Individuals can discontinue the mediation process at any time. Mediation is collaborative in that each party must work together for mediation to be successful and no one party has a better standing or case than the other party. The mediation process is confidential. The mediator is an impartial, neutral party assisting the parties in coming to a mutual agreement. While the mediator does not offer legal advise, parties can participate in mediation with the assistance of legal counsel or communicate with legal counsel before making a final decision on an agreement.