Business Mediator Can See Around Corners to Help You
Business Partnership Mediators Need Super Vision!
The comment above came to me in an email after guiding a client through a nasty exchange with his business partner. Sometimes people will intentionally make an effort to trigger anger, frustration, or irrational behavior. As a Business Partnership Mediator, I see this behavior often and can help calm things down so we can have a rational discussion toward resolution. Seeing ahead is a super-power! I can see where the problems are and the best possible outcome.
The Mediator Must Look Ahead
Once I’ve had a meeting or two with the parties to a dispute, I can begin to provide guidance beyond keeping tempers under control. As the partners discuss issues, there is always a desire to look back at transgressions. “You called that client a year ago and got things all messed up!” Looking backwards is not helpful. Sure, sometimes it’s necessary to add context, but, usually, talking about past events only triggers the other party to respond in a defensive way. A mediator has to look ahead at where things should end up and help all the parties to the dispute do the same.
It Is Important for the Partners to Look Forward
Negotiations always go better when there is less tension. Helping parties in dispute look forward rather than backwards makes the process go smoother and quicker. I have had big cases wrap up in a few hours despite significant anger between partners. And I have had rather small cases drag out for weeks because people insisted on litigating past events.
I will say that there are times when going through past events served to make people feel better because they were able to get their point across in a controlled environment. When that is developing, it is important to let people talk through their issues. Feeling heard will sometimes give a person the relief to let go and conclude a deal. That requires special vision too. I have to watch and see if we’re spinning around in the dust of the past or in the process of letting go of the anger. If the dialogue is productive, I’ll let it go. If I see people just exchanging accusations, I’ll rein it in.
And, Yes, A Good Mediator Can See Around Corners
Looking ahead in a mediation is an important skill. Helping partners see where they are going is important because it’s hard to have a clear sense when it’s your business. Often subjects will come up where I know there will be trouble right around the corner. Having helped business partners for many years fix their problems or separate agreeably, I can see when someone is trying to set up an ambush.
Mediation is about finding agreement on solutions to problems. It’s not about determining the guilty party or catching someone in a trap. If partners cannot work together and one has decided to leave the business, right and wrong are far less important than getting agreement on price and terms.
When I look around a corner and see trouble, it’s my job to guide the talks in a different direction that always keep things focused on a positive outcome.
Vision is the Mediator’s superpower. Your Mediator will help you see the situation clearly and guide you toward a successful conclusion. When you’re under a lot of stress, it’s hard to see the situation clearly. Your Mediator is looking ahead for all parties and genuinely cares about the results.
The High Conflict Business Partner AKA the Bully is the most difficult type of person to deal with. Here are 6 Tips to help you deal with the Bully Partner.
Business partnerships can be a fantastic way to pool resources and knowledge in order to create a successful enterprise. However, even the most well-intentioned partnerships can break down if certain warning signs are ignored. In this post, I will point out the 5 red flags that should never be ignored when you see them in your business partnership and provide you with guidance on how to deal with them.
If you have read my other posts, you know I strongly encourage people who form Partnerships to create a Partnership Agreement. The document must specify how a Partner can leave the Partnership voluntarily while ensuring that the business is protected from two potential disasters: firstly, by avoiding terms that could bankrupt the business, and secondly, by preventing the admission of unplanned Partners.