The Difficulty Of Changing Minds By L.A. Mediator Charles Parselle

From the Blog of Phyllis G. Pollack.

One of my own favorite quotes about “changing the other guy’s mind” is from commercial mediator Jeff Kichaven:  “piling rationales atop one another to convince a litigator he is wrong is like raising your voice to communicate with a deaf man.”

Below is Los Angeles mediator Charles Parsell’s more recent take on changing minds from the L.A. Mediator ning group.

To settle a disputed matter, a person has to have a change of mind and here’s where the problem starts. As Upton Sinclair said: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his livelihood depends on him not understanding it.”

This is why mediation exists. But just because no one ever said it was supposed to be easy doesn’t mean it can’t be annoying. Sometimes that frustration has to find expression.

Below is the most astounding expression of irritation and frustration and rage I have ever read.

“I BESEECH YOU, IN THE BOWELS OF CHRIST, THINK IT POSSIBLE YOU MAY BE MISTAKEN.”

Here’s the quiz:

1. Who said these words and how close to a cardiac infarction was he or she on a Scale of 1-10?
2. Can you beat it with your own expression of utter frustration and anger? (In 25 words of less, please.)

Prize for the most creative response.

For articles on the biases that make trying to change our views so difficult, see Scientific Daily’s concise distillation of confirmation bias and ChangingMinds.org’s article on cognitive dissonance.

My own favorite expression of frustration — “Had I, my lords, been born crested not cloven, you had not treated me thus!” ~ Elizabeth I Regina

                        author

Victoria Pynchon

Attorney-mediator Victoria Pynchon is a panelist with ADR Services, Inc. Ms. Pynchon was awarded her LL.M Degree in Dispute Resolution from the Straus Institute in May of 2006, after 25 years of complex commercial litigation practice, with sub-specialties in intellectual property, securities fraud, antitrust, insurance coverage, consumer class actions and all… MORE >

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