The Harvard Program on Negotiations (“PON”) recently published an article describing some interesting tools that should be considered in multi-party dispute resolution settings. The article describes some of the tactics used at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in 2015. The article can be found here. As an aside, anyone engaged in negotiation for a living (and that’s all of us) should be registered for the PON’s free newsletter and articles.
The PON article describes three tactics: confessionals, informal informals, and indabas. One of many take aways from these tactics is that they open space for all of the parties to be heard and contribute. Whether these tactics have a place in civil case mediation is an open question but their objectives certainly do.
What is obvious in virtually every multi-party mediation that I have facilitated is that there are layers of complexity in the relationships of the parties, as well as the increase in the legal and factual issues that practically beg for something more than our standard one day mediation model. This is just one of the topics this blog will explore. In the meantime, go sign up for the PON’s newsletter and explore some of their white papers on negotiation.