Reading time: 2 min.

These are just some of the things I see people do in mediation that are the worst way to resolve disputes. How many have you noticed in your own life?

  1. Start out by saying something that you know the other person will find insulting, offensive, or just plain outrageous. If you forget to do this, walk out of the room, come back in, and say the insulting, offensive, or outrageous thing.
  2. Do whatever you want and ignore everyone else. Pay no attention to others’ needs, especially not to the needs of your coworkers and business as a whole. And definitely not the needs of family, friends, and other loved ones.
  3. Try to get the mediator on your side. Smile at the mediator. Flatter the mediator. Roll your eyes at everything the other person says, so the mediator will sneer at them, too.
  4. Refuse to listen to the other person’s point of view. Refuse to even try to see the other person’s perspective. If you find yourself realizing that the other person might have a valid point, commit even harder to your point of view.
  5. Break all of the conversational rules that you and the other person share. For example, if you’re both overlappers, stop contributing to the discussion. If you both speak indirectly, be as blunt as possible. If you both speak bluntly, be circumspect and passive-aggressive, Do it until you’re sick of it. Then do it some more.
  6. Bring a dagger or other bladed weapon to the discussion. Bonus points if it’s really, really sharp. Super bonus points if it’s double ended.
  7. If there’s something you do that you know makes the other person angry, irritated, scared, or any other mental/emotional state that makes them harder to deal with, do it. Over and over and over.
  8. Punish the other person as much as you can. Ask for unreasonable, burdensome, and unnecessary clauses to your agreement.
  9. Promise to do something you know you can’t do and wouldn’t actually do even if you could. Bonus points if you do this more than once.
  10. Ignore your values regarding fair treatment, compassion, communication, honorable behavior, morals, and ethics. Abandon all of your principles. Who needs them anyway?

Photo credit: © 2010 Adam Koford, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Three Brothers Divided a $3 Billion Company – and (more or less) remained friends
With Mediation, It Gets Better

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This