Here is the link to Money Magazine article featuring How to Negotiate Like a Pro.
Mary Greenwood, Mediator, Attorney and Author of
How To Negotiate LIke A Pro: 41 Rules for Resolving Disputes, Winner of nine book awards, How To Mediate Like A Pro: 42 Rules for Mediating Disputes
Winner of 12 book awards, and How to Interview Like a Pro, winner of twelve book awards. www.MaryGreenwood.org
Saturday, June 29, 2013
Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Confronting a Neighbor Who's Hurting Your Home ValueStephanie AuWerter has written an article in the July issue of Money Magazine about negotiating with your neighbor and quotes my book, How to Negotiate Like a Pro. According to a recent survey 60 % of all Americans have a pet peeve with someone who lives nearby.
Here is the tip that was used in the Money Magazine article:
1. Focus on the goal. Don't be distracted by your emotions.
"The worst thing to do is march over when you are angry and demand action." This escalates the problem and you can lose control of the situation. Take 24 hours before talking with the neighbor and when you do, plan what you are going to say.
Here are some of my other tips that were not used.
2. You don't have to be right to settle.
Don't dwell on the past and get right to the solution. The past is called the past for a reason. Many neighbors want to rehash who started it and revel in all the details. The important part is getting to the present and having a plan on how to resolve it.
3. Ask your neighbor if he is aware of the problem.
In your first discussion, don't threaten or discuss the law. Just ask if he/she is aware of the problem.
A. Are you aware that your dog barks when you are away or when you leave him in the yard?
B. Are you aware that your tree's roots or fruit are coming onto my property?
C. Are you aware that the loud music at night can be heard at my house even when I close my windows?
4. If the neighbor is not aware, that can be a good sign.
Not being aware can be a good sign if that awareness makes him apologize or offer a solution. Even if you know that the neighbor is fully aware of the problem, let him save face by trying to plead ignorance or apologize. Hopefully the neighbor will agree to fix the problem now that he/she knows it exists.
5. If the neighbor is aware, explain why there is a problem.
A. The baby can't sleep.
B. I have to get up early in the morning.
C. The fruit and branches are interfering with my mower.
D. My wall could be damaged by roots.
E. I am trying to sell my house and I want the neighborhood to look nice.
6. Offer a Solution
If the neighbor has a solution, work with it even if your solution is not quite the same. If the neighbor does not volunteer a solution, suggest one. Have both sides do something as part of the solution so it does not look one-sided.
7. Trees Solutions
A. Ask the neighbor to trim
B. Volunteer to trim yourself (with his permission, of course.)
C. Have a landscaping company do the work and split the costs.
D. Have the tree moved and split the costs.
D. Volunteer to clean up fruit and nuts if you can keep them.
8. Noise Solutions
A. You both agree to close your windows to muffle the sound.
B. The neighbor agrees to turn down the volume after a certain time on weekdays and you agree it can be louder during the day and weekends
9. Dog Solutions
A. Neighbor agrees to bring the dogs in at night or when they are out.
B. Neighbor agrees to let the dogs in when they start to bark.
C. Suggest putting the dogs in an area farthest from your house.
D. You could suggest obedience school, but be careful with this one.
10. Messy Yard Solutions
A. Explain what needs to be done. Those with a messy yard may not see it because they are in denial.
B. Offer to help with basic clean-up.
C. Offer to bring in a cleaning service and help pay part of expenses. This may seem extreme but it is cheaper than legal fees, especially if you are trying to sell your place.
11. Final Thoughts
A. You are neighbors and will still be living next to each other whatever the solution (unless you move.)
B. Don't do anything to escalate the problem. Remember the Hatfields and the McCoys.
C. Don't get caught up in the drama and don't try to get even!
D. Step back and look at the big picture.
E. Throwing some money at the problem may help resolve it for the future.
Mary Greenwood, Mediator, Attorney and Author of How To Negotiate LIke A Pro: 41 Rules for Resolving Disputes, Winner of nine book awards, How To Mediate Like A Pro: 42 Rules for Mediating Disputes, Winner of twelve book awards, How to Interview Like a Pro, winner of twelve book awards. Visit www.MaryGreenwood.org.