I have had a number of emails about my last post where I mentioned a law firm breakfast I had last week to chat about 10 suggestions I had for lawyers heading into a mediation.
Here are the first 5;
I've just had a call from a lawyer with whom I have a large mediation coming up in late November.
She asked me what she could do to prepare her client John, for what is probably going to be the most important meeting of his life.
Apart from the usual prep like identifying interests etc I advised her to:
1. In the time between now and November try not to poison the well from which she will drink on mediation day - start 'mediating' now within the litigation
2. Prepare John to interact with me on a personal level. He needs to talk to me and should treat me as a confidant, not the enemy. Please trust me (or let me earn that trust)
3. Anticipate a predictable start to the negotiation where the other side asks for the moon and make sure John is prepared to respond in a way that keeps the dialogue going
4. Have John explain the personal side of the dispute to me, in front of the other side. Be prepared to do this early
5. Use me - make me earn my fee. Seek out my reaction to the story of the case and the negotiation moves that are unfolding. Give me a heads up on the negotiation moves John is contemplating - test them on me - I can often help
Thanks to my colleagues at the International Academy of Mediators