A Crash Course in Negotiating from a Position of Strength for Those About to Head into Mediation

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Divorce Mediation between a couple

Mediation can seem like a daunting experience, especially if the relationship between you and the party you are negotiating with is strained. Heading into these discussions from a position of strength can give you the confidence to clearly make your case and stay focused throughout the process.

Inner strength is built on a foundation of willpower, self-discipline, and resilience to withstand obstacles. If these traits don’t come easy for you, some personal prep work can help get you into the right mindset before you arrive at the mediation table.

Strategies for Building Your Inner Strength

  1. Avoid the blame game
    Mediation isn’t the time to point fingers. Doing so puts the other party on the defensive and significantly limits the conversation. It also diminishes your power by enhancing your sense of victimhood. Instead, reframe your blame so that you clearly communicate your needs, wants, or experiences without being accusatory.
  2. Keep your cool
    Strength is not measured by how loud or emotional you are, but how much control you have over your emotions. In the words of the Dali Lama, “A calm mind brings inner strength and self-confidence.” Consider the words or actions that trigger you and make a conscious decision about how to react when provoked by the other party. Preparing for those triggers and planning your reaction to them helps ensure a calm and confident response.
  3. Have realistic expectations
    Entering into mediation with pie-in-the-sky expectations can be hugely disappointing and emotionally derailing. It can also sabotage the negotiating process. Knowing your non-negotiables but being open to compromise can bolster your sense of control.
  4. Take care of yourself
    Self-care is notoriously undervalued, but it is vitally important, especially during times of stress. Think of self-care as weight training for your soul. Taking time for mindful meditation, relaxation exercises, or even self-hypnosis—especially before a mediation session—can strengthen your inner fortitude.

Even though we serve litigation cases, most of the time, we would approach and advise our client to look for mediation instead. To learn more about this approach, contact our team to schedule a confidential consultation.

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