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Friday, October 31, 2008

How To Negotiate An Impasse Like A Pro

A deadlock occurs when the parties to a negotiation cannot reach agreement. Usually they are tired and frustrated and ready to give up. Here are a few Rules to chip away at the deadlock and close the deal.

1. Take a Break.


If the emotions are high and both parties are clearly frustrated and tired, it might be time for a break. Clear the air and get a fresh start the next day or the next week. Give assignments and/or deadlines to work on during the break. Try brainstorming when you get back to see if anything has been overlooked. This is the time to emphasize mutual interests and try to close the deal.

2. Agree in Principal and Work Out the Details Later.

Although it is important to get all the I’s dotted and T’s crossed, sometimes you have to agree on the principal to get the negotiations moving again. Otherwise the negotiations may get bogged down working out every word and every possible contingency. Getting an agreement in principal is a morale booster. There is a shift when there is some agreement and the parties can come back later time to work out the details.

3. Stress What Will Happen If No Agreement Is Made

A. We will have to start all over.
B. What we have agreed to will not go into effect.
C. If we let a third party make the decision, we might not like the result.
D. We may lose the control to fashion our own settlement.
E. We will loose a lot of time.

4. Be Prepared to Give One More Thing.


There are some people who are never going to be satisfied and they always want one more thing. This is human nature, I guess, to squeeze as much out of the other side as possible. Knowing this trait will allow you to always keep a bargaining chip or two up your sleeve to close the deal. If you don’t have to use the bargaining chip, that is even better. Remember you might be able to get one last thing as well.

5. Know When to Hold and When to Fold.

Unfortunately not all negotiations end in settlement. If you have made several suggestions which were not met with any discussion or interest, this may be one of those negotiations that remains deadlocked. On the other hand, if you are still talking to each other and making some progress, even though very slowly, it might be worthwhile to still keep plodding away. Don’t let the negotiation go forever. Just as the song says, sometimes you need to know when to fold.






Mary Greenwood, Mediator, Attorney and Author of
How To Negotiate Like A Pro: 41 Rules for Resolving Disputes, Winner of six book awards
Best How To Book, DIY Festival
Runner Up, New York Book Festival, E-Book and Self-Help Category
Finalist ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards
Finalist, Best National Book Awards, Self-Help Category
Honorable Mention, London Book Festival
How To Mediate Like A Pro: 42 Rules for Mediating Disputes
Winner of five book awards
Best National Book AWard, Law Category
Best E-Book, New York Book Festival
Best How To Book, Beach Book Festival
Best E-Book, Indie Excellence Awards
Spirit AWard, South Florida Writers Association
http://www.barnesandnoble.com or http://www.amazon.com or http://www.booksamillion.com or Kindle
Email: howtonegotiate@aol.com
www.marygreenwood.com

Happy Halloween in the Pumpkin Patch


"This is bigger than my law mower at home."


"So many pumpkins, so little time."

This is my grandson, Jack.




Mary Greenwood, Mediator, Attorney and Author of
How To Negotiate Like A Pro: 41 Rules for Resolving Disputes, Winner of six book awards
How To Mediate Like A Pro: 42 Rules for Mediating Disputes
Winner of five book awards
Email: howtonegotiate@aol.com
www.marygreenwood.com

Thursday, October 30, 2008

How To Negotiate Like A Pro and How To Mediate Like A Pro Available on Kindle


KINDLE
Las week Oprah Winfrey endorsed Amazon's Kindle on her television program. As we all know, an endorsement by Oprah Winfrey sells product. What is a Kindle? It is an e-book reader—an embedded system for reading electronic books (e-books)—launched in the United States by online bookseller Amazon.com in November 2007. It uses an electronic paper display and downloads content over Amazon.


What are the benefits of Kindle?
1. Kindle can be used without a computer.

2. Books are significantly cheaper than buying the book. For example, How To Negotiate Like A Pro is $8.00 on Kindle and How To Mediate Like A Pro is $6.80.

3. There is great convenience. If you saw the Oprah Winfrey show, she demonstrated that you can click and get the book almost instantaneously. Oprah also mentioned that she ordered the New York Times on a Sunday when it was raining.

4. You are saving the environment by not using paper.

5. You can read on an airplane and not shlep books.

6. All your books are stored so if you lose the kindle, you can get your books back when you get a new one.

7. You can look up words you don't know in a special Kindle dictionary. You just click on the word and you get the definition.

8. There are support groups and blogs devoted to Kindle users to assist you.

9. There are over 190,000 titles available.

10. It is smaller than a paperbook and easy to read.



Even though the item cost $359, Oprah has put a $50.00 discount on her website to buy it. so it can be yours for $309.00. If you buy Kindle or have Kindle already, consider ordering How To Negotiate Like A Pro and How To Mediate Like A Pro.










Mary Greenwood, Mediator, Attorney and Author of
How To Negotiate LIke A Pro: 41 Rules for Resolving Disputes, Winner of six book awards
Available on Kindle
How To Mediate Like A Pro: 42 Rules for Mediating Disputes
Winner of five book awards
Available on Kindle
Email: howtonegotiate@aol.com
www.marygreenwood.com

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

How To Negotiate Your Phone Bill Like A Pro

Have you ever opened your phone bill and found that the amount is double or triple the amount of your last bill? This just happened to me. Don’t despair. Here are some tips for getting that phone bill adjusted.

1. Call the phone company immediately.

My phone bill had started to escalate over the last few months, but I did not have time to look into it right away. I thought it might be a one-month irregularity and did nothing until the next month’s bill. When I did call, the phone company saw the problem right away. I had been using my rollover minutes up and now I was way over the amount of minutes on my plan. You should call right away and nip the problem in the bud because it is not going to go away.

2. Ask the phone company to put you on a different plan.

Ask what all the options are and the requirements of each plan you are considering. Ask them if there are any other alternatives. They might tell you something if you ask for it that they might not tell you voluntarily. In my case, I needed a plan with more minutes. My base monthly charge will be higher but nowhere near the phone bill I just got.

3. Ask the phone company to “rerate” your past bill

I asked if my bill could be reviewed and any adjustments made. I found out this is called “re-rating”. The customer service rep calculated my current bill using the requirements of the “new plan” and I got a credit for the difference. It seemed very complex and complicated and it took a half-hour. I also asked them to “re-rate” the previous month and I got a credit for that as well. However, the rep was reluctant to do the second month and another rep might have refused. That is why my first tip is to call the phone company immediately.

4. Ask if this new plan affects your contract date

I found out that my new plan with the additional minutes had an impact on the “mobile to mobile” plan that I was already on. The “mobile to mobile” plan was a special promotion and in order to keep it, I was told I would have to sign a new contract for an additional 11 months. I decided to take my chances and drop the “mobile to mobile” plan and just watch my calling patterns. I want to keep my options open in case I want to go with a different company when my current contract expires. You should specifically ask if any of the changes you have made to your plan have extended your contract date.

5. Get an extension on your payment date

Don’t pay your bill until the credit has taken effect. You can usually get an extension on the payment date because of the changes in your plan. This way, you don’t have to pay the original bill because the credit will offset it. You can check your balance and when you have gotten the credit, you can pay your bill.

If you follow these rules, you will be negotiating like a pro.





Mary Greenwood, Mediator, Attorney and Author of
How To Negotiate LIke A Pro: 41 Rules for Resolving Disputes, Winner of six book awards
How To Mediate Like A Pro: 42 Rules for Mediating Disputes
Winner of five book awards
Email: howtonegotiate@aol.com
www.marygreenwood.com

How To Negotiate Like A Pro When Buying A Car

I recently purchased a new vehicle when visiting my son and was able to use some of my negotiating techniques:

1.Be Prepared and Do Your Research

Being prepared is of the utmost importance. Before even going to the showroom, one should first look at the ads in the newspaper and look at car sales at Edmunds.com or a similar website. That will give you an idea what is available and the going prices. In my situation, we actually went to the lot after it was closed and looked at the cars that we liked and saw the prices. One car model had a special discount of $7000. There was also a special for zero percent financing. The next day we called and asked the receptionist about the $7000 discount. She told us that the $7000 discount did not apply if using the zero percent financing. However, she did tell us that there was a $3000 dollar discount if one used the zero percent financing. That was useful information because we knew that the $3000 discount was a given and we would have to negotiate to get a higher discount. If you are not prepared, don’t go to the showroom yet. You need to know what you want before you get there.

2.Bring A Friend and Give Him/Her A Role.

Buying a car should be a team effort. Bring a friend or relative or two. In my case, I brought my son and very pregnant daughter-in-law. We each had a role. Whatever was said my daughter-in-law was supposed to say. “Let’s go home and think it over.” Sometimes the deal that the dealer presents sounds so good that it is tempting to accept it on face value. We had agreed beforehand that no matter what the deal was, I would say that we needed some time to think it over and needed to meet in private to discuss further. Our strategy was to have a dollar amount. I did not want to pay over $25,000 for the car no matter what. This kind of negotiation can be very stressful and this is another reason why having friends or family by your side is a plus.

3.Read The Fine Print And Know What All The Costs Are.

When we met with the sales rep, he started talking gibberish about the various costs and it was hard to follow exactly what he was talking about. At that point it is important to use your own checklist and write down all the costs that are being presented and add them up. Don’t be afraid to ask what a particular cost item is. Look at the sticker price and all the features that are presented. What are the extra or hidden fees? Maybe there is some leeway. Our strategy was to have a dollar amount that I did not want to go below. I did not want to pay over $25,000 for the car. It did not matter where the discounts came from, but the bottom line or deal breaker was anything above $25,000. As it turned out, this was the last day of the month, which is usually a good time to buy a car because the dealerships are very competitive as to who has the best track record for the month and are sometimes willing to go lower to get the sale so it can be counted in this month’s sales

4. Ask for One More thing

I knew which car I wanted and knew that I would probably leave the showroom with that particular car. It was the color I wanted and had the special features that were on my wish list. However, I wanted to get the best financial deal possible. I was not planning on getting financing, but the zero financing was too good to pass up. When I was comparing the price to another smaller and cheaper car, I realized that with the financing costs of the other car, my car was actually cheaper in the long run. If the dealership absolutely says the price cannot go any lower, then see if something else can be added to the deal as a sweetener. Is there an accessory you want that could make the deal more attractive such as floor mats, or steering wheel cover? Be creative and flexible. If there are two similar cars, maybe you could switch to the better car for the price you are negotiating. Maybe you can negotiate service for the car. Your want list is only limited by your imagination.

5.Stick To Your Guns and Don’t Say Yes Right Away.

As my mother used to say, it does not hurt to ask; the worse that can happen is that they say no. If you think that they have made their final offer, stick to your guns and try one more round. In my case, I was trying to stay under $25,000. The dealer came back with a figure that was a couple hundred dollars more than the $25,000 with a plausible explanation that this was absolutely the lowest they could go. At that point, part of me wanted to accept that amount and just pay the $200, but I forced myself to say that I wanted the sales rep to go back one more time to see if he could come down to the $25,000. The dealer accepted that offer, probably, because it was the end of the month and the amount in question was relatively small. If they had been resolute on the price, I probably would have paid the higher price but they did not know that.

If you follow these rules for buying a car, you will be negotiating like a pro.





Mary Greenwood, Mediator, Attorney and Author of
How To Negotiate LIke A Pro: 41 Rules for Resolving Disputes, Winner of six book awards
How To Mediate Like A Pro: 42 Rules for Mediating Disputes
Winner of five book awards
Email: howtonegotiate@aol.com
www.marygreenwood.com

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

How To Talk Like A Mediator: Part 3

How the Mediator Can Reframe the Other Party's Position.The parties are often upset when they are taking to the mediator alone in caucus. One side might be angry, distraught, and accusatory and say things that would solicit a negative response if unedited. To relay the party's position, the Mediator often needs to change the tone so that the response can keep the mediation going. Here are some examples of toning down the language.

Party: I am mad and won't take it anymore!

Mediator's Interpretation: The other side is a little upset.

Party: He is a crook and liar.

Mediator's Interpretation. The other side does not believe you.
Party
: He did not send the item.

Mediator's Interpretation: The party did not receive the item. Have you sent it yet and do you have tracking?

Party: There is no point in mediating. Just close the case.

Mediator's Interpretation: The buyer wants me to close the case. Is there anything you can do to change his mind?

Party: The other party is a big jerk.

Mediator's Interpretation: The other party does not like what you have done.

Party: I don't trust him.

Mediator's Interpretation: The buyer does not think you will follow through.

Party: The seller ripped me off.

Mediator's Interpretation: The buyer says he does not like what you did.

Party:
He is just stupid.

Mediator's Interpretation: The other party does not think you understand his position.

Party: Refurbished is supposed to be like new. This was a piece of garbage with scratches and dings.

Mediator's Interpretation: His idea of refurbished is different from yours. He says there were scratches and dings.

Party: I would not sell my house to him if he was the last person on earth.

Mediator's Interpretation: He has decided not to sell the house to you.







Mary Greenwood, Mediator, Attorney and Author of
How To Negotiate LIke A Pro: 41 Rules for Resolving Disputes, Winner of six book awards

How To Mediate Like A Pro: 42 Rules for Mediating Disputes
Winner of five book awards
Email: howtomediate@aol.com
www.marygreenwood.com

How To Negotiate With a Hotel Like A Pro. If You Don't Ask, You Don't Get.





1. Do Your Research

When you call a hotel to make a reservation, you should already have done your research. You should already have checked the online rate. Since there are no humans involved, the rate is often lower. You can also get commentary online with websites such as TripAdvisor or recommendations from guide books. Find our how many stars it has. When you do ask for the rate, find out what discounts you can use? Senior of Auto Club discount or other loyalty clubs? Ask if there are any weekend or special rates. When given the rate, ask if they are any lower rates available. Call more than once to see if you get different quotes. If you see an offer that seems too good to be true, book it immediately because it probably will not be there the next time you try.

2. Only Negotiate With Someone With Authority


When looking for a good rate, it is usually better to deal directly with the front desk instead of online or through the hotels web sites. Individual hotel managers have authority to be more flexible in their rates, especially later in the day. Heads in beds are better than an empty bed. The online rates usually cannot be altered. You should also check rates at nearby hotels and comparable hotels. If you are not quoted a good rate, you can point out what their competitors' rates are. Show that you are prepared to walk away and go next door if necessary.

If you have a problem or issue after you have checked into a hotel, go to the front desk and ask to see the manager. Again, this is usually the only person who can waive policies and do something for you such as a free night or an upgrade for the inconvenience you may have suffered for a noisy or a dirty room.

3. If You Don't Ask, You Don't Get

I think this is the most important rule. My mother says, "The worst thing that can happen is that they say 'no'." First you have to ask the right questions. " Is this the best you can do?" "Do you have any specials?" Can you give me an upgrade? You don't really have to have a problem to ask for something better. I was traveling with my son, his wife, my grandson and my dog. Our room at a chain hotel had one bed, one pull-out couch and one bathroom. I knew we were going to be cramped and I probably should have booked two separate rooms. I went to the front desk and told them the situation and they gave me a suite which had two bathrooms and two bedrooms with a sitting area for the same cost. Everyone was more comfortable and we will always have good feelings about that chain. It was definitely a win-win result.

4. Keep Track of the Paperwork.


Once you get your reservation, get the name of the reservationist and the reservation number. If you made your reservation via phone, ask them to send you an email so you have the proof to take with you. If someone else is making the reservation for you, such as a job interview, always call ahead and make sure the reservation is confirmed. I had this happen to me. The hotel reservation had been cancelled because the company had not confirmed the reservation. Luckily they had a room available, but now I always call ahead and make sure the reservation is still good. You can also use this information to see if the rate has changed. If the rate is lower, ask for a reduction or cancel the existing reservation and make a new one.

5. Write Down The Names of all Staff Encountered

This may sound a little paranoid, but sometimes something will be noticed after you have left the hotel and knowing the names of the hotel employees will be crucial. I stayed in a hotel this summer and discovered four hours after checking out that the valet who parked our van had scraped the top of the van in the garage facility without letting anyone know. I only noticed it because we were parked at a rest stop two hundred miles away and looked down at the van and noticed the damage. At that point, I contacted the hotel and explained the situation. It really helped that I had the name of the valet who had driven the car. We had even given him a tip that morning because we did not have cash earlier. I asked how to file a complaint and who to contact. I was given the Human Resources representative who had their insurance rep call us. When I got the online survey, I put all the information about the damage to the car and our disappointment that an employee would not inform us about the damage. We got an estimate (over $1000) and luckily their insurance company paid it. If we did not have the name of the employee, I am not sure we would have the same result.

6. Write a Letter to the Hotel Manager or CEO if There are Unresolved Complaints.

If there are any problems at the hotel, keep copious notes of what went wrong, when it went wrong, and the names of the employees who helped you and those who did not help you resolve it. This is very important because those details can be very fuzzy if you do not write them down when the incident happens. If you don't have time to write it all down, do it on your flight home or as soon as possible. This will help you later on if you decide to file a complaint or write a letter to the president. Your letter will be very professional if you have all your facts and times straight.

Many hotels are very customer service oriented and welcome comments. Some will even send you an online survey to ask how your stay was. If there were problems, this is a good opportunity to say why you were upset and what you would like to remedy the situation. If you don't get a survey, send a letter to the Hotel Manager with exactly what happened. Be sure to say what you want (see Rule 3 above). If you don't get an answer, send a letter to the CEO of the company. If you follow these rules, you will be Negotiating Like A Pro.





Mary Greenwood, Mediator, Attorney and Author of
How To Negotiate LIke A Pro: 41 Rules for Resolving Disputes, Winner of six book awards
How To Mediate Like A Pro: 42 Rules for Mediating Disputes
Winner of five book awards
Spirit AWard, South Florida Writers Association
Email: howtonegotiate@aol.com
www.marygreenwood.com

Monday, October 27, 2008

How To Talk Like A Mediator Part 2



Comments About The Other Party.
Here are some responses that a mediator can make when one party comments about the other party. These are not the only response, but what I consider a good response.

Principled Party: It is not about the money but the principle.

Mediator's Response: I understand that you believe you are right and you don't want to go against your principles. As a mediator, I do not determine who is right or wrong. It is possible to resolve a dispute without making that judgment call. What is it that you truly want? Is it an apology or a change in policy?

Take It or Leave It Party: This is what I want and I am not budging.

Mediator's Response: I understand you don't want to budge from your position. Unfortunately, the other side is not budging, either, and we are at an impasse. Mediation is a give and take and there has to be some compromise if the case is going to be resolved. If the impasse cannot be broken by one of the parties, then I will have to close the mediation. Why don't you split the difference and both parties get something?

Self-Righteous Party: Why should I apologize? He is the one who is wrong.

Mediator's Response:
Sometimes an apology is an easy and cheap way to resolve a dispute. Just because you apologize does not mean that you are taking anything away from your position. You can honestly say that you are sorry for the confusion or misunderstanding. An apology can go a long way to help the other party feel good about the situation. However, an apology must be sincere or it will make things worse.

Self-Righteous Party: I have done nothing wrong

Mediator's Response: I don't like to think in terms of who is right or who is wrong. That is not the way to get something resolved. Let's look at some solutions that would resolve this situation.

Self-Righteous Party: He made the mistake. Why should I suffer?

Mediator's Response: Mistakes do happen. To err is human. I don't think he did it on purpose. This gives you a chance to be magnanimous and understanding.

Judgmental Party: It is not fair that I give something up.

Mediator's Response: Mediation is not about fairness or getting even. Both parties have to be willing to compromise to find a solution.

Disinterested Party: I really don't care if this gets resolved. It is the other side's problem.

Mediator's Response: The other side is motivated to resolve this situation. Can you think of anything the seller could say or do that might change your mind?

Angry Party: He makes me so mad.

Mediator's Response: I know you are upset. However, mediation is not going to be successful if the parties let their emotions interfere with resolving the dispute. Let's concentrate on what you want to settle this dispute. Would an apology make a difference?.

Judgmental Party: The other side lied.

Mediator's Response: I know there is a misunderstanding between the parties. Whether he did it intentionally, I have no way of knowing. I suggest we give him the benefit of the doubt and let's move forward.

Disappointed Party: She does not know how to communicate.

Mediator's Response: I know that you did not receive any emails from her. Is it possible your spam filter blocked her emails. What do you want to tell her now? Let's move forward and see if we can communicate.

Defensive Party: Yes, I did make a mistake, but she overreacted

Mediator's Response: I am glad you admitted your mistake. Maybe she did overreact, but she was very upset. Would you be willing to apologize to her? Sometimes an apology can go a long way to help start some dialogue.

Defensive Party: She is making a mountain out of a mole hill.

Mediator's Response: I know you think that she is making too much out of this. However this is very important to her and she can't help how she feels. Try to put yourself in her shoes. Is there any way you can make her an offer?

Unforgiving Party: I want others to see his feedback. I don't want to withdraw it.

Mediator's Response: I understand what you are saying and it is your choice. However, you are missing out on an opportunity to have your feedback withdrawn, too. If you don't care if your feedback remains as well, then I will close the case.





Mary Greenwood, Mediator, Attorney and Author of
How To Negotiate LIke A Pro: 41 Rules for Resolving Disputes, Winner of six book awards
How To Mediate Like A Pro: 42 Rules for Mediating Disputes
Winner of five book awards
Email: howtonegotiate@aol.com
www.marygreenwood.com

How To Negotiate Like A Pro and How To Mediate Like A Pro Were Published in Kenya by Acrodile Publishers



Both of Mary Greenwood's books were published by Acrodile in 2008. How To Negotiate Like A Pro is listed as their most popular book on their website,www.Acrodile.co.ke/.

Acrodile Publishing Ltd, located in Kenya, is a leading Sub-Saharan African publisher and distributor of a broad range of books, periodicals and manuals. Acrodile's key objective is to share the enormous knowledge and experiences documented and published with the objective of meaningfully contributing to uplifting the standards of education and promoting literacy worldwide. Acrodile's activities span the four continents of Africa , Europe , North America, and Asia.



Mary Greenwood, Mediator, Attorney and Author of
How To Negotiate Like A Pro: 41 Rules for Resolving Disputes, Winner of six book awards
How To Mediate Like A Pro: 42 Rules for Mediating Disputes
Winner of five book awards
Email: howtonegotiate@aol.com
www.marygreenwood.com

How To Talk Like A Mediator Part 1

One of the hardest jobs of a mediator is to give a good response to the parties' concerns. After mediating thousands of cases, I have heard a lot of questions and concerns from the parties. The mediator has to give a response that informs without alienating the parties. Here are some responses that a mediator can make. They are not the only response, but what I consider a good response.

A. Comments Made to the Mediator

Righteous Party: Just decide who is right or wrong

Mediator's Response: That is not how mediation works. A mediator cannot decide who is right or who is wrong. In mediation, the parties decide what is right for them and how they will resolve the case. I only work as a facilitator and I do not weigh the evidence and determine who should win.

Suspicious Party: You are taking his side.

Mediator's response: I am by definition a neutral third party. Sometimes I play the devil's advocate and give the parties a reality check or suggest different alternatives. However, that does not mean I am taking sides.

Uncertain Party: What would you do?

Mediator's Response: Generally I don't like to give my opinion because it is really the other party's opinion that counts, not mine. However, since you asked me, I would give the other side the benefit of the doubt.

Impatient Party:
This is taking too long and is a waste of time.

Mediator's Response: I know you think this is taking too long, but we are following a process. Sometimes this can take time, but it cannot be hurried.

Unsatisfied Party: You don't know what you are doing! Where were you trained?

Mediator's Response: I am doing my best and I am always open to suggestions. I am not sure why you are asking the question, but I am certified by the Florida Supreme Court in County Mediation and have conducted over 6000 mediations. Not all mediations are going to be successful. It often depends on whether both parties are willing to work on finding a solution.

Annoyed Party:
You don't understand.

Mediator's Response: Maybe I don't understand. Can you try one more time to explain your position? Maybe I am missing something.

Party wants to quit: I don't want to continue the mediation.

Mediator's response: Mediation is by definition a voluntary process and you can decide to discontinue the mediation at any time. Do you want me try one more time to see if we can resolve this or do you want me to close the case now?


Mary Greenwood, Mediator, Attorney and Author of
How To Negotiate LIke A Pro: 41 Rules for Resolving Disputes, Winner of six book awards
How To Mediate Like A Pro: 42 Rules for Mediating Disputes
Winner of five book awards
Spirit AWard, South Florida Writers Association
Email: howtonegotiate@aol.com
www.marygreenwood.com

What Are The Differences Between Mediation and Negotiation?


Negotiation: The parties agree to work with each other to resolve a dispute.

Mediation: The parties agree to work with a facilitator or mediator to resolve a dispute.

Negotiation: The parties always meet with each other.

Mediation: A mediator may meet with both parties jointly or meet individually with one party, which is called a caucus.

Negotiation: The parties can bind themselves in an agreement.

Mediation: The mediator has no decision-making authority and cannot bind the parties. A mediator does not make a ruling like a judge or arbitrator.

Negotiation: The parties have their own interests in the negotiation.

Mediation: The mediator is neutral and impartial and does not represent either party's interests.

Negotiation: The parties use persuasion to get the other side to agree with them

Mediation: The mediator may play devil's advocate or give a reality check to the parties, but it is not the mediator's role to persuade the parties.

Negotiation
: Some negotiations fail because the parties cannot work with each other.

Mediation: A mediator may be used because the parties prefer a third party.

Negotiation: Some negotiations fail because the parties have too many conflicts.

Mediation: A mediator may be able to defuse conflicts or disagreements.

Negotiation
: Some negotiations are not voluntary such as union negotiations.

Mediation: Mediation is voluntary and either party may choose to stop at any time.

Negotiation: When the parties can't agree, they reach a deadlock or impasse.

Mediation: When negotiations reach an impasse, the parties may try mediation .

Arbitration: When mediation reaches an impasse, the parties may try arbitration.













Mary Greenwood, Mediator, Attorney and Author of
How To Negotiate LIke A Pro: 41 Rules for Resolving Disputes, Winner of six book awards
How To Mediate Like A Pro: 42 Rules for Mediating Disputes
Winner of five book awards
Available Amazon.com
Email: howtonegotiate@aol.com
www.marygreenwood.com

Sunday, October 26, 2008

What is Mediation?




In mediation, the parties agree to work with a neutral third-party facilitator, the mediator, to resolve their dispute. The main difference between negotiations and mediation is that in negotiations, the parties work directly with each other, while in mediation the parties work with the mediator who facilitates the settlement.

Here are some of the characteristics of mediation.

1. The parties agree to work with a facilitator or mediator to resolve a dispute.

2. A mediator does not make a ruling like a judge or arbitrator.

3. Mediation is voluntary so either party may choose to stop at any time.

4. The mediator is neutral and impartial and does not represent either party's interests.

5. A mediator may meet with both parties, a joint session, or individually with one party, a caucus. When meeting in caucus, what is said to the mediator is confidential unless the party agrees that the information can be shared.

6. A mediator can be used when direct negotiations failed.

7. A mediator can be used when the parties don't like each other.

8. A mediator may be able to defuse conflicts or disagreements between the parties.

9. The mediator may play devil's advocate or give a reality check to the parties.

10. Mediation is not therapy.

11. If the case cannot be resolved through mediation, the parties may try arbitration.


Mary Greenwood, Mediator, Attorney and Author of
How To Negotiate LIke A Pro: 41 Rules for Resolving Disputes, Winner of six book awards
How To Mediate Like A Pro: 42 Rules for Mediating Disputes
Winner of five book awards
Spirit AWard, South Florida Writers Association
Email: howtonegotiate@aol.com
www.marygreenwood.com
Available Amazon.com

Mary Greenwood will speak to South Florida Writers Association on November 1 on "How Book Awards Can Boost Your Marketing Campaign"


















The South Florida Writers Association will meet Saturday November 1, 2008 at Books and Books, 265 Aragon Avenue, Coral Gables, Fl. From 10:00 AM to 12:00 Noon. The event is free.
Greenwood has written two award winning books:
How To Negotiate Like A Pro: 41 Rules for Negotiating Disputes,
Winner of six book awards,
How To Mediate Like A Pro: 42 Rules for Mediating Disputes
Winner of five book awards.

Greenwood will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of applying for book awards, her tips for applying to book awards, and how to create buzz after you have won a book award.

Greenwood will also display her books at the Miami Book Fair on November 14, 15, and 16 at the South Florida Writers Association Booth. For more information, contact me at mgreen464@aol.com or my websitewww.marygreenwood.com

How Art Collectors Can Negotiate Like Pros


Joel Fisher, (American, born 1947), Untitled, 1992, painted plaster with surface abrasions and incisions 3 7/8 x 2 3/4 x 3 in.
Gift offer from Dorothy and Herbert Vogel, in concert with The National Gallery of Art.

In today's Miami Herald, http://www.miamiherald.com/457/story/741913.html, there is an article titled "Generous Collectors Leaving a Legacy of Fine Art," by Lydia Martin. It tells how Herb, a postal worker, and Dorothy Vogel, a librarian, have collected an extensive art collection over the last forty-five years, which has until lately been stored in their one bedroom apartment in New York.

Their collection includes, John Chamberlain, Pat Steir, Richrd Tuttle, Christo, Sol LeWitt, Chuck Close, and Julian Schnabel. Now they have given over 1000 pieces to the National Gallery and are giving fifty art museums around the country, fifty artworks each, including the Miami Art Museum. They are being featured in a documentary called Herb and Dorothy directed by Megumi Sasaki at Art Basel, December 4-7. 2008 in Miami Beach.

What struck me, as a negotiator, was how they amassed this collection with somewhat limited funds. After reading this great article, I came up with a list of tips you could use to collect art like the Vogels:

1. Make art collecting fun and an adventure (this was their life-long obsession and they did their research.)

2. Look for new ideas in art (they found artists before they were known.)

3. Find new artists and then follow their careers for decades
(their first acquisition was John Chamberlain.)

4. Collect many works of the same artists (they understood the artists because of the depth of their collection.)

5. Buy small so you can fit it in your home or apartment (the National Gallery sent five moving trucks to take out the collection in the 1990's.)

6. Always haggle with the price and be creative (they bartered cat sitting for Christo in exchange for artwork.)

7. Ask for a payment plan or buy an early draft rather than the original.

8. Always come to the artist with an envelope with money (The Vogels offered cash to many artists when no one else was buying. Later these same artists gave them reduced prices and even gave them gifts since they were now friends.)

9. IF you don't see something you like in the front, ask what is in the back.

10. Go to art events and openings, whether they are in unknown neighborhoods, street corners, galleries, or big name museums (The Vogels were well-known in New York because they went to so many art events and happenings.)

Since I live in Miami Beach and go to Art Basel Miami every year, I can't wait to see the documentary, Herb and Dorothy.


Mary Greenwood, Mediator, Attorney and Author of
How To Negotiate LIke A Pro: 41 Rules for Resolving Disputes, Winner of six book awards
Best How To Book, DIY Festival
Runner Up, New York Book Festival, E-Book and Self-Help Category
Finalist ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards
Finalist, Best National Book Awards, Self-Help Category
Honorable Mention, London Book Festival
How To Mediate Like A Pro: 42 Rules for Mediating Disputes
Winner of five book awards
Best National Book AWard, Law Category
Best E-Book, New York Book Festival
Best How To Book, Beach Book Festival
Best E-Book, Indie Excellence Awards
Spirit AWard, South Florida Writers Association
Email: howtonegotiate@aol.com
www.marygreenwood.com

How To Negotiate Like A Pro With Your Spouse

How To Negotiate With Your Spouse. It can be difficult negotiating with a spouse or other family members because you will still live in the same house after the negotiations are over. A certain amount of sensitivity and decorum are needed. Here are some rules that will help you successfully negotiate with your spouse.

1. Request Ground Rules.

If previous discussions have been ugly, you may want to suggest some simple ground rules to make the process go more smoothly. For example, such basic things as a) no yelling, b) no interruptions, c) no sarcasm, d) no profanity and e) a willingness to compromise may set the stage for real negotiations.

2. Know What You Want And Anticipate What Your Spouse Wants.

Know in advance what it is you want from the negotiations. If you are discussing vacation plans, do your research in advance. Try to anticipate what your spouse wants so you can suggest something both parties can approve. For example once the destination is confirmed, each party could plan a day of activities. You can balance your love of art museums with your husband’s love of sports.

3. Look Forward Not Back

The past is called the past for a reason. If you are negotiating something that you have already hashed and rehashed, don’t bring in what happened last year or last month. Focus on what you are going to do today to resolve the problem. If you get mired into the same discussions, try to suggest something new or suggest something on a trial basis to see if it can work.

4. Focus On The Goal; Don’t Be Distracted By Emotions.

Dealing with a problem with your spouse or ex-spouse can be very emotional. It is important to come into the negotiation with a neutral point of view. If you are angry or hurt by something your spouse has said or done, it will be almost impossible to focus on your goals for the negotiation. If you check your emotions at the door, you will be surprised what you can accomplish.

5. Watch The Other Side’s Body Language.

Since you live with this person, you should be able to recognize his/her body language. Use this to your advantage. If you see that vein in his forehead throbbing, it might not be the best time to bring up something controversial. If she is strumming her fingers on the table and is impatient, maybe it is time to try to wrap things up.

6. Don’t Gloat.

If you get something you want, don’t gloat. There is nothing worse than seeing a spouse or even worse an ex-spouse smirk or gloat. The other side will only want to retaliate. You need to go through any negotiation with a poker face and save any celebration for when you are alone.

If you follow these rules, you will be able to negotiate with your spouse like a Pro.

Mary Greenwood, Attorney Mediator, and Author of How to Negotiate like a Pro, 41 Rules for Resolving Disputes
Available at http://www.amazon.com
Visit http://www.Marygreenwood.com
Email: Howtonegotiate@aol.com
DIY Award 2006, Los Angeles, California, Best "How To" book
How To Mediate Like A Pro: 42 Rules for Mediating Disputes
Winner of five book awards
Best National Book AWard, Law Category
Best E-Book, New York Book Festival
Best How To Book, Beach Book Festival
Best E-Book, Indie Excellence Awards
Spirit AWard, South Florida Writers Association

Saturday, October 25, 2008

How Murals by Danny Devenny and Mark Ervine Transform Conflict


Showcasing the work of muralists Devenny and Ervine
In my last post I mentioned Cyber week which is sponsored by the National Center for Technology Dispute Resolution (NCDTR), which offers a portal for muralists to show how conflict transformation can occur. In the mural on the left, muralists Danny Devenny, former Irish Republican Army (IRA) prisoner, and Mark Ervine, son of David Ervine, former Progressive Unionist Party leader and Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF) member in Belfast, the north of Ireland/Northern Ireland, have collaborated on this e-painting from the Same Palette Initiative.

Former adversaries, Devenny and Ervine began painting murals together in 2007 and their second joint project was unveiled in April 2008 at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Publicly painting a mural together in the north of Ireland/Northern Ireland has been widely acclaimed as both symbolizing and contributing to the conflict transformation taking place.

This beautiful mural shows that talking is not the only way to effect transformation.



Mary Greenwood, Mediator, Attorney and Author of
How To Negotiate LIke A Pro: 41 Rules for Resolving Disputes, Winner of six book awards
How To Mediate Like A Pro: 42 Rules for Mediating Disputes
Winner of five book awards
Email: howtonegotiate@aol.com
www.marygreenwood.com

How Independent Contractors Can Negotiate Like Pros

Independent contractors may feel that they do not have much negotiating power. They are told what the hourly rate is and the number of hours expected and they feel that there is not much, if anything, to negotiate. They also have the notion that if they don’t agree to the terms, someone else will and they will lose the business. Nevertheless, I believe that everything is negotiable even in these hard economic times. Here are some tips to consider when trying to negotiate the best deal for your independent contractor assignment.

Everything is Negotiable.

Although at first glance it may look as though you do not have much leverage in negotiating; look again. Although it is understandable that each company has its own rates or standards and is reluctant to make changes to those rates, try to determine what can be negotiated before you accept an assignment.

A. Hourly rate.

Even if you feel that the hourly rate is not negotiable, you should still review it. If you have many years of experience, are certified and highly regarded, then maybe it is time to ask for an increase in your hourly rate. You might also try to get a set rate for the job rather than an hourly rate. However, even if you are content to stay with the offered hourly rate, be on the lookout for other things that can be negotiated.

B. Meals.

We know that many companies don’t want you to eat on the job and it is their philosophy that clients should not see their contractors eating. However, some companies give a per diem rate for meals based on the hours the contractor has worked. Even if you don’t meet that threshold, you might want to ask for payment or reimbursement for meals, if you are working during a mealtime period.

C. Bonus.

If you get a call at the last minute to do a job, ask for a bonus or plum assignment in the future in order to accept the assignment. “ I will make some phone calls and change my plans, but I expect an extra $50 bonus” or “ I will take this gig, but the next time you have a plum assignment, I expect you to call me.”

D. Assignments.


You know which assignments you really love and those that are drudgery. Try to figure out how to get those assignments that you really like. You have to pay your dues, but be so good all assignments that you will be the one they call.

E. Phone calls or out-of-pocket expenses.

Since any monies paid out of pocket are money taken away from your paycheck, see if you can get these costs reimbursed. If you are expected to use your cell phone, you should be reimbursed.

G. Heavy Lifting.

Find out in advance whether there is heavy lifting or some other requirement that you might not find out about until the day of the assignment. I found out the hard way when I ended up carrying a very heavy and cumbersome box. If you have a bad back or don’t want to injure your good back, you need to know the requirements of the assignment beforehand so you can decline or accept. If you do accept, ask for a bonus.

H. Hours of Work.

Some people like to work those early shifts and some people are night owls. If you dread those early assignments or don’t like to drive late at night, ask for what you want. If you continually take on those unwanted assignments, let it be known that you expect something in return later on.

I. Convenience.

Factor in convenience before accepting an assignment. Sometimes there is an assignment closer to your home that will save you commuting time. You may be willing to take a lower rate because you are close to home. On the flip side, if you are taking an assignment far away, especially at the last minute, ask for a bonus for gas money.

As you start thinking about what can be negotiated, the list is endless. You will soon be Negotiating Like A Pro.




Mary Greenwood, Mediator, Attorney and Author of
How To Negotiate LIke A Pro: 41 Rules for Resolving Disputes, Winner of six book awards
How To Mediate Like A Pro: 42 Rules for Mediating Disputes
Winner of five book awards
Email: howtonegotiate@aol.com
www.marygreenwood.com

Conflict Resolution Day October 16, 2008



October 16 was Conflict Resolution Day. I started my new blog on October 21, but I did not want Conflict Resolution Day to go be without mention until next year. The first Conflict Resolution Day was held when the Association of Conflict Resolution (ACR), adopted a resolution designating October 20, 2005, as the first Conflict Resolution Day. ACR coordinated its efforts with other conflict resolution organizations and reached out to local, state, and international groups to build interest in holding local celebrations in conjunction with Conflict Resolution Day. Events were held in Canada, Portugal, and 22 U.S. states. Also in the United States, a number of counties, cities and states adopted proclamations designating day- or week-long conflict resolution celebrations.

Going forward, Conflict Resolution Day will always be held on the 3rd Thursday of October. Next year it will be held on October 15, 2009.



October 13-17 was also ODR( Online Dispute Resolution) Cyber Week 2008, http://www.odr.info/cyberweek2008/, an online conference exploring the application of technology to dispute resolution and beyond. People from over thirty countries participated, including myself. Cyberweek had many interesting events including mock mediations online and online mediation competitions. The latest software programs were introduced and participants could get involved in interactive forums to see what is happening world-wide.

All these activities contributed to my desire to start my own blog to share my ideas and concerns about negotiation, mediation, ODR and ADR. I am already thinking how I am going to celebrate in October 2009.










Mary Greenwood, Mediator, Attorney and Author of
How To Negotiate LIke A Pro: 41 Rules for Resolving Disputes, Winner of six book awards
Best How To Book, DIY Festival
Runner Up, New York Book Festival, E-Book and Self-Help Category
Finalist ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards
Finalist, Best National Book Awards, Self-Help Category
Honorable Mention, London Book Festival
How To Mediate Like A Pro: 42 Rules for Mediating Disputes
Winner of five book awards
Best National Book AWard, Law Category
Best E-Book, New York Book Festival
Best How To Book, Beach Book Festival
Best E-Book, Indie Excellence Awards
Spirit AWard, South Florida Writers Association
Email: howtonegotiate@aol.com
www.marygreenwood.com

Are you sick of hearing about the transition to digital television on February 17,2009?

I am getting sick about hearing about the transition to digital television. Everyone has gotten into the campaign. There have been special public service ads by news anchors, television commercials to explain the whole converter procedure, usually by someone with grey hair to show how easy it must be if a senior citizen can do it. I have seen FTC reps on talk shows talk about this "important" issue. Alright already, we get it. Television as we know it is changing on February 17, 2009. Let's move on to other things. A lot can happen between now and February.

It is not that this PR extravaganza doesn't have some place in the scheme of things (maybe number 75), but I have more important things to think about than getting a $40 coupon to help defray the cost of converter boxes: like my dwindling IRA, 401K's and pension benefits, my mortgages, my new condo assessments, my car payment, my credit card bills and things like that.

Here is one of those alerts:

FTC Consumer Alert
Television is Going Digital: Get the Picture
Big changes are coming to your television. But they have nothing to do with summer re-runs or the new fall season. These changes involve the transition to digital broadcasting on February 17, 2009For millions of Americans — those whose televisions are already hooked up to cable or satellite or those who have televisions with built-in digital tuners — the transition should be seamless. But if you get your programming on an analog television through a rooftop antenna or “rabbit ears,” you will have to take action to keep your TV sets working after the transition. Through a program run by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, every household can get two coupons — each worth $40 — to help defray the cost of the converter boxes. Most of the boxes cost between $50 and $70; you can order the coupons online at www.dtv2009.gov or by phone at 1888DTV2009.


If only the federal government had taken the time, effort, and millions of dollars that the Federal Trade Commission has used to warn us about the digital television conversion taking place on February 17, 2009 (which might cost us $50-$70) and had used that same extraordinary effort to warn us of the coming recession/depression! Wouldn't it have been great to get a Consumer Alert alert like this?

A Recession is Coming and Get Out of the Stock Market Market.

Don't worry we will provide you with coupons to help you out.

What Goes Down Does Not Necessarily Go Back Up

Don't Be Greedy, Sell Your House Now

You Might Want To Think Twice About That Sub-Prime Loan

Greenspan: I really don't know any more about the economy than you do.


Let's compare notes on February 17, 2009 to see how the transition to digital went. Meanwhile, about the economy, we are on our own.

Friday, October 24, 2008

How To Negotiate With a Two Year Old



This is my handsome grandson, Jack, with his orange doggy shirt. Jack loves Betty, my Boston Terrier, (see previous post) and loves to wear his "doggy" shirt from the Black Dog Shop in Martha's Vineyard, MA. He loves it so much that he wears it every day. This presents a problem because occasionally the shirt needs washng. When I was visiting, I tried to get him to wear a different shirt. I actually tricked him for about two minutes and got him to wear another orange shirt until he realized it had a giraffe on it rather that his beloved doggy. He quickly took it off and demanded the real thing.

His parents decided that it was not worth the effort to negotiate with Jack about his favorite shirt. They just bought four other orange doggy shirts so he would always have a spare. I agree with that approach. I was thinking about my rules of negotiations and there are certain situations where it just doesn't pay to try to change someone's mind and this is one of them. Why not let Jack wear the "doggy" shirt if he wants? It is kind of heart-warming to see someone so passionate about his shirt. It is sort of like Linus and his blanket.

So How Do You Negotiate With A Two-Year Old? Sometimes the best thing may be to let him wear what he wants.

How To Negotiate Like A Pro in Long Term Relationships


Here are some ideas for negotiating when there is a history of trust from previous negotiations.

Ever notice that negotiations usually go much better when there is a history of trust from previous successful negotiations? That is no accident. The good will that is built up over the years allows the other party to accept your positions at face value. However those negotiations can get flat and you might want to try something new as well. Here are some tips to build on that long term relationships during negotiations.

Look To The Past For Inspiration.

Usually I say look to the future, and that the past is called the past for a reason. That is because the usual negotiations are unsuccessful and the past may be a source of frustration and pain. However, when there is a history of successful negotiations, the negotiations themselves are a source for study. Try to analyze what has worked and what might need improvement. Even if you are pleased with the results, what could make the negotiations better? For example, you could ask questions like the following:

1. Was I prepared enough?

2. Did I give in too soon?

3. Were any mistakes made?

4. What worked and would I use that technique again?

5. What did not work and how can I improve?

Look To The Past for Pitfalls or Drawbacks

Even though successful negotiations predict further successful negotiations, negotiations with the same parties for several years do have some drawbacks or pitfalls. The negotiations can be predictable and even boring and the parties can become complacent. The parties anticipate what the other side is going to do so that there is no element of surprise. When it is time to close the deal, they are more likely just to split the difference. Negotiations repeated over the years can go flat. As they say, familiarity can breed contempt. If the parties know each other’s moves, they can predict where the negotiations are going. Sometimes the negotiators just go through the motions and don’t put much thought into the process. Each person has a role and they just go back and forth as they always have. Sometimes the expectations are fairly low and that can affect the bottom line

Try Something New

You might want to assign some different people to the negotiating team or pick a new chief negotiator to shake things up. You might want to add a new formula for the payment of fees. You might try to ask for something new this year, something you really want. You might start in a different order. Start with the important items if you have been starting with the easy items. Maybe you want to start all over again and start from scratch and build a new contract. This is fairly drastic but might be worth a try. If you are happy with last year’s contract, then you might want to think of some brand new provisions. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

Be Prudent

Even though you may want to try something new, be prudent on how you implement it. Don’t risk everything just for the sake of trying something new. Experiment by trying one or two minor changes and see how it works. Don’t allow years of successful negotiations to be jeopardized for the sake of innovation. You will need to assess the situation to see if the tried and true is still working or whether the parties have become complacent and need some new strategies at the negotiation table.

In conclusion, a long term negotiations are usually built on mutual trust and will likely predict good future negotiations. However, it will up to you to decide whether the parties are complacent and caught up in a routine or are already at their peak performance. You may have to try something new to put some new zest in the negotiations. Or you may want to continue the techniques that have worked in the past. The point is that there should be a review to determine the strategies for future negotiations.

Maggie and Betty, the Boston Terriers


Betty (on the left) and her sister, Maggie,(on the right)

I have been told that ADR people are dog lovers, too. The Boston Terrier on the left is my dog, Betty, and on the right is Maggie, her sister who lives down the hall.

How To Negotiate Like A Pro With Your Boss




Negotiating with your boss can be a little tricky because you are not on equal footing. Since there is always the chance there could be repercussions for speaking out, an employee usually won’t tell his boss what he is really thinking. Anyway, let’s assume that you want to get a raise or a promotion. Here are some of the rules you can use to negotiate with your boss.

1. Focus On The Goal; Don’t be Distracted By Emotions.

It is especially important not to let your emotions interfere with a request to your boss. If you are angry because you were passed over for a promotion or did not get the raise you think you deserved, it is not a good idea to immediately go to your boss’s office and demand a meeting. You will appear to be out of control, which you probably are, and the boss will probably be glad he made the decision he did.

2. Know What You Want and Know What You’re Worth.

It is very important that you know what you want when you speak with your boss about a wage increase or any other benefit. If the boss asks you, “How much do you want?” you need to have an answer rehearsed. This is not a time to hesitate unless your are caught completely off-guard. Be careful with the figure that you give him. Don’t make it too little so that you kick yourself later for not asking for more. Don’t make it too much so the boss thinks that you are greedy and unrealistic. If you are asked why you deserve the raise, do not say, “I don’t know.” This needs to be rehearsed so that you can give a reasoned answer any time any place.

3. Have A Plan B.

If you have your heart set on getting a raise or promotion, you still need to have a Plan B. First you have to decide whether you are going to stay in the position anyway or start looking for a new job if you don’t get the raise or promotion. Even if you decide that you are going to look for a new job, don’t be too quick to quit the old job. However, you may want to look at your current job in a new light so that whatever new experience you get should help you prepare for a new job.

4. Never Give Or Take No For An Answer.

Your boss may tell you right away that you are not getting a promotion or raise. If you accept that you are not getting it, then that is the end of the meeting. Perhaps you can suggest some alternatives. If you don’t get the raise, perhaps you can at least get a title change. Maybe you can get the extra duties but get the raise in three months? Maybe you could get extra vacation days instead of a raise? There are endless possibilities. If you suggest some alternatives to your boss, perhaps one will stick. If your boss still says no, then you may need to go to Plan B

5. Walk Away.

There may be instances where you decide that you have to just walk away. If the boss is not willing to give you the raise you thought you deserved, you may decide that this is not the boss or company you want to work for anymore. Just make sure this decision is not made in haste while you are still angry about your boss’s decision. If you do walk away, have a plan so you know how you will proceed. It is the conventional wisdom that it is harder to find a job when you no longer have one. Give yourself some time to make this final decision. You do not want to come into your boss’ office on Monday and beg for your job back. You would not be in a position of strength. If you do walk away, be sure you have thought it through.

Copyright 2008 Mary Greenwood

Thursday, October 23, 2008

How To Interview Like A Pro to be published soon

The third book in my "How To" series is How To Interview Like A Pro and Get a Job in the New Economy. After writing How To Negotiate Like A Pro and How To Mediate Like A Pro, I found that many of my readers were very interested in negotiating with their employers and prospective employers, especially salary negotiations for a new job or a promotion. Interviewing with a potential employer is really a type of negotiation. Many applicants forget that they are interviewing the employer at the same time the employer is interviewing them.

How To Interview Like A Pro is based on my experience as a Director of Human Resources and my experience interviewing for a search firm. I was the head of Human Resources for the City of Miami Beach, Hollywood (Florida), Monroe County, and Keys Energy (Key West.)


How To Interview Like A Pro will help you:
Answer interview questions
Ask the most important question in salary negotiations.
Write a resume that will be noticed.
Find out why incumbent left.
Find out if your references are trashing you.

How to Interview Like A Pro will be available in January 2009.

You Don't Have To Be Right To Settle




What are the three words we want to hear the most, even more than "I love you?" We love to hear those magic words, "You are right." For some people, this is even harder to say than "I love you." And if you say, "You are absolutely right," that is even better. When someone says, "It is the principle that counts" or "It is not the money, it's the principle," I know that the negotiation is in trouble. That is because the party is making a judgment call that it is more important to be a martyr than settle the case.

When someone is obsessed with the principle of a situation, he is still emotionally vested in his feelings. Unless you can get beyond those emotions, the dispute is not likely to be resolved. However, you can use this to your advantage. Since the other side has told you it is not the money but the principle, you may be able to give an apology, change your procedures, or do something else that is within the party's principles. You have go get beyond who is right and who is wrong to get to what is going to resolve the case. Feeling that you are right can be a heady emotion, but it has no place in a negotiation.

It is not always someone's fault. There are situations where no one is to blame and there is no right or wrong side. Both sides often assume that the other side has done something wrong: that the other person is lying and untrustworthy.Try to get beyond the immediate distrust and ask factual questions about the problem. Sometimes an innocent mistake has been made by one of the parties, who did not even realize it; sometimes the mistake was made by a third party.

Parties that are concerned with what is right rather than settlement often don't want to compromise. If you want the negotiation to move forward, you may have to be the first one to give in or start the initiative, or even accept some of the blame. If the other side is only interested in being right, chances are the problem won't be resolved. Try saying, "You are right" and if you are really daring, say ,"You are absolutely right." See where it takes you.


Rule 3 from How To Negotiate Like A Pro



How To Mediate Like A Pro Textbook for NOVA University Online Alternate Dispute Resolution Course

How To Mediate Like A Pro is the textbook for Alternate Dispute Resolution, an online course being taught at Nova University in Fort Lauderdale by Professor Steven W. Leigh, PhD. How To Negotiate Like A Pro: 41 Rules for Resolving Disputes is also going to be the textbook in a Negotiations Course at Nova University.


The course provides the students with the opportunity to survey the field of Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR), including problem-solving, negotiation, arbitration, and mediation, with the main focus being on mediation. The course helps them become familiar with ADR concepts, practice and terminology.


How To Mediate Like A Pro provides a glossary of ADR terms as wll as scripts to help students apply the 42 rules in real Mediations. There is also a Chapter on How To Talk Like A Mediator. How To Mediate Like A Pro is available at Greenwood's website, www.marygreenwood.com, Barnes&Noble.com, and Amazon.com

Greenwood Wins Spirit Award at South Florida Writers Conference


Photo by Connie Goodman-Milone

Here is a picture of me with my Certificate of Appreciation for giving a presentation on How Book Awards Can Boost Your Marketing Campaign. Later in the evening I received the Spirit Award with a lovely plaque. It was a wonderful writers conference and thanks again to SFWA. This was SFWA's first annual conference and the next one will be in Miami in October 2009!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I Violated My First Rule of Negotiation




Even though I wrote How To Negotiate Like A Pro:41 Rules to Mediate Like A Pro, sometimes I violate my own rules. Today I violated Rule One:Focus on the Goal: Don't be Distracted by Your Emotions.

"It is important to check your emotions at the door before trying to negotiate anything. Emotions such as anger can make one lose control. We have all seen someone who gets red in the face and starts shaking his finger and generally looks as though he could easily have a heart attack. Sometimes that person is so mad that he is incoherent. You ned to get past that stage if you are going to succeed..."

Let me step back and tell you what happened. A friend gave me a gift certificate for $100 at a nearby restaurant because I had taken care of his Boston Terrier. We went to the restaurant for lunch a few weeks ago and spent $76.00. After we finished the meal, the waiter told me I had $24.00 remaining on my gift card.

Today we went back to the restaurant to use up the $24.00 on the gift card. We had a great lunch and the bill came to $36.00. I gave the waiter my credit card and the gift card expecting that I would pay the difference or $12.00 plus tip. After a few minutes, the manager came back and said that the card had zero balance. I said that was impossible and that there was $24.00 left. He also said that the card was only good for one visit. I explained that we had relied on the waiter's statement; otherwise we would have gotten two or three desserts to go at the previous visit.

Since it was such an upscale restaurant, I really thought they would give us the benefit of the doubt. However, the manager acted as though we were trying to pull a fast one. Something clicked and all of a sudden, I got really angry and started yelling. I asked him if he had ever heard the expression the "customer is always right," and he said no. I also asked why he would not stand by his waiter's comments and he said he did not have to since we were in the wrong. I yelled at him that we would never come back to the restaurant and I would tell everyone in the neighborhood how he had treated me. He said he did not care what I did and that it wasn't about the $24.00 anymore. At that point, I knew nothing good was going to come from this and paid the $36.00 on my credit card and left in a huff.

What did I do wrong? Everything. I raised my voice and got upset with the manger when I should have been concentrating on my goal of getting my $24.00. At one point, I had forgotten about the $24.00 and getting mad at the manager was counter-productive. Instead of coming up with new arguments, I just kept repeating the same argument and when he did not agree, I got agressive.


What could I have done differently?
This altercation surprised me because it was an outcome I did not expect. I really felt that the $24.00 was my money and really could not believe they were not honoring the gift certificate. If I had been more pleasant and suggested to the manager that the staff were not familiar with the rules of the gift certificate,perhaps he would have reconsidered. Threatening him with not coming back or telling my neighbors, of course, fueled the flames.

What is the lesson I learned? First of all, it is easy for emotions sneak up on you during an argument. There was something in the manager's tone that set me off. I realize now that I need to be more aware of my feelings and tone them down accordingly. I needed to give the manager all my reasons in a reasonable manner. I blamed the waiter, but he was not there to help me so I needed a Plan B.

This was a valuable lesson for me. I realized that I am human and I can get mad just like everyone else even if I wrote a book on negotiations. It also proved to me that my Rule is a good one and it is almost impossible to negotiate when angry. If I had to do it over again, I would have controlled my anger, and been pleasant to the Manager, I think.

How would you have handled this situation? IF you have some suggestions, I would love to hear them.

How Mediating Online is Different from Mediating in Person


There are many differences in mediating online and mediating in person.

1. Online mediation is a time-delayed process and not contemporaneous like mediating in person.

There is a different rhythm in online mediation because each party answers via email usually at least once a day.

2. There are no visual cues online; all content is from the email message.
You don't realize how much you rely on visual and audio cues until you communicate only via email messages. When we talk, we use inflection to indicate whether we are serious or trying to be funny. That cannot be done with online mediation. It is important to use plain talk and not be too cute or the message might be misinterpreted.

3. When mediating online, one must be very aware of email etiquette: no lol, smiley faces or CAPS.

If you are mediating online, you cannot use the same language you might use texting or on twitter. You need to be very careful about Caps, which are the equivalent of shouting on the internet. Smiley faces or abbreviations are not appropriate in that setting. If you use them, it shows that you may not be professional and are not taking the mediation seriously.

4. Parties are bolder online and more likely to use profanity or insult the mediator or the other parties.

When I first started mediating online, I was surprised that parties seem to be more willing to be bolder that they might be in person. Parties have used profanity and tried to insult or bully me. Cyperspace seems to embolden some people since there are usually no repercussions for such messages. I try to deal with this upfront in my groundrules for the mediation. IF this does not work, I deal with the offending party in a caucus and, if necessary, will stop the mediation if the disrespectful messages continue. After pointing out my policy, the parties usually change the tone of their emails, but not always.

5. Mediation can be freeing because the mediator usually does not know the race, ethnicity or home country of the parties.

Sometimes I prefer mediating online because I can deal with just the issues. I do not know the race, ethnicity and sometimes sex ( if email address does not indicate). This is freeing since there is little likelihood of bias or an allegation of bias. Unless they mention it, I often do not know where the parties are living. It could be Europe, Asia, Africa or the US or UK. What is wonderful about all this is that I can concentrate on the issue and how to resolve it.

6. Emails must look professional and should be checked for typos before sent.

When mediating online, one must be extra careful that the emails look professional. I n the haste of writing a message, it is easy to have misspellings and typos. Remember that spell checker only tells you whether a word is a word, not that it is used correctly. If the parties see typos and mistakes in an email, they may think that the mediator is not professional and does not care about his messages. If I have a long complicated message, I sometimes put it away so I can edit it later. I am usually much more able to see my errors. Everyone needs to be edited from time to time.

7. The Mediator sets the pace and rhythm by the timing of the emails.

The Mediator does set the pace when responding to the emails. Even when you get an immediate response, you may want to wait some time before answering so that the parties don't think you are just waiting for their message. On the other hand, if you don't check your messages every day, you may be slowing up the process. The Mediator has to find the right rhythm. Sometimes the Mediator can sense that the case is on a roll and close to completion. In that case, he may want to answer quickly to get the case closed.

8. Parties may feel isolated online and especially need to be kept informed.

When a mediation extends days or even weeks, it is important for the parties to be kept informed as to what is happening. Has the other side responded? What did they say? What is the offer? What do they want? Being a party in an online mediation can be isolating an the Mediator has to take special care to keep all the parties as to what is happening, if only to say that the other side has not responded.

9. Caucusing via emails is different than in person.

Caucusing is an important tool in online mediation. Caucusing means that I will "meet" with parties individually and we may discuss things that won't be shared with the other party. The party will tell me what he wants to keep private and what he wants to let the other party to know. Sometimes it is harder to explain the caucus concept online than in person. Maybe that is because the other party may be on another continent in cyberspace rather than in the next room. Often the parties online don't understand why they can't see the messages that the other party is sending to me. I explain the caucus system in advance so that the parties won't have expectations that they will see what the other party is saying to me.

10. Jokes and sarcasm often bomb and emails sound cold.
Without those visual cues we were discussing above, jokes often misfire. If the joke centers on the meaning of a word, that might be lost on those speaking English as a second language. You definitely cannot be sarcastic in an email. It really sounds caustic rather than funny. Many of use use gestures and inflection to get our meaning across. It is no wonder that emails often sound very cold. The Mediator may need to be a little chattier with a friendly salutation and sign-off. In addition, you may need to summarize so everyone is on the same email, so to speak.

In summary, I find online mediation challenging and fun. If you follow these rules, you will be able to mediate online like a Pro.

HOW TO ORDER
How To Mediate Like a Pro: 42 Rules for Mediating Disputes
By Mary Greenwood, Mediator, Attorney and Author
Price: $12.95 Self-Help Paperback: ISBN: 978-0-595-46962-8
Available Baker & Taylor, Ingram Book Group, iUniverse.com,
Amazon,Barnes&Noble, and from author:
Visit www.marygreenwood.com
Email: Howtomediate@aol.com; call 786-897-3366

How Did I get Started in Alternate Dispute Resolution? ( Hint: it has to do with raccoon coats)

In my interview with Fey Ugokwe in ADRPages.com about Negotiating in Turbulent Times, she asked me what prompted me to make Alternative Dispute Resolution my profession.

Mary's Answer: I think it goes back to my childhood. I was known as the peace-maker in the family. When they were teenagers, my mother bought coats for [my sisters] one Christmas, that were custom-fitted. The problem was that both sisters wanted the same coat. I found it amusing because both girls had the same build, height, and weight--and the coats looked the same to me. I mediated with them in caucus and joint sessions for hours and hours, trying to get them to take [their] assigned coat. Even though I could not resolve the "raccoon coat caper," it did put me on the ADR path--and I am still thinking of new arguments I could have used with my sisters.

For the full interview with Fey Ugowke, see www.ADRPages.com

How did you get started in ADR? Email your stories tohowtonegotiate@aol.com and I will post the most interesting ones.

Fey Ugokwe founder of ADRPages.com interviews Mary Greenwood on negotiating in tough economic times

Fey Ugokwe, Attorney, Founder and Editor of ADRPages.com interviewed Mary Greenwood. The full interview can be seen at www.ADRPages.com

Fey's Q: Now, Texas-Hold-‘Em—most business owners duly attempt to sport the proverbial poker face when negotiating their various n’ sundry deals…but such is decidedly harder to do when sales are sluggish and thereby, everything seems to be resting heavily, clumsily on the bottom line. What are your words of wisdom for wheelers n’ dealers who still have to wade forth into gnarly negotiations during these turbulent economic times?

Mary 's A: My philosophy is that anything can be negotiated. During these turbulent economic times, the hardest thing may be to close the deal. One has to play all the angles and ask:

1. Does the other side want something other than money? Maybe one party wants the deal closed very fast, and will accept payments over a longer period of time rather than a lump sum payment;

2. How can I sweeten the deal? Try to find out what the other side needs--this is where your research can pay off;

3. How can I be flexible? If you want the deal closed, you will need to be flexible--[however], you have to protect yourself at the same time;

4. What is my Plan B? If your first suggestion does not work, keep coming back with alternatives and suggestions--maybe one will be appealing, and be the one thing that seals the deal.
Fey's Q: Now, Texas-Hold-‘Em—most business owners duly attempt to sport the proverbial poker face when negotiating their various n’ sundry deals…but such is decidedly harder to do when sales are sluggish and thereby, everything seems to be resting heavily, clumsily on the bottom line. What are your words of wisdom for wheelers n’ dealers who still have to wade forth into gnarly negotiations during these turbulent economic times?

Mary's A: My philosophy is that anything can be negotiated. During these turbulent economic times, the hardest thing may be to close the deal. One has to play all the angles and ask:

1. Does the other side want something other than money? Maybe one party wants the deal closed very fast, and will accept payments over a longer period of time rather than a lump sum payment;

2. How can I sweeten the deal? Try to find out what the other side needs--this is where your research can pay off;

3. How can I be flexible? If you want the deal closed, you will need to be flexible--[however], you have to protect yourself at the same time;

4. What is my Plan B? If your first suggestion does not work, keep coming back with alternatives and suggestions--maybe one will be appealing, and be the one thing that seals the deal.