Recall Rectify Relate Repitition Resolve Retaliate Revenge Roles Role Playing Rudeness


Elephants are said to have excellent memories. With the advent of PDAs, man has little reason to feel inferior.

Recall is a precious commodity. No matter how good your memory is. leaving the terms of an agreement to your memory is a mistake. It is not so much the fact that you may not recall them accurately. Rather recorded and signed agreement may be used to refresh the other person's recollection. People have a propensity to remember what they want to remember. They also can innocently color their memory slightly to your disadvantage.

Important facts and discussions should be memorialized for future reference. Especially important conversations should be recorded in the form of notes and sent to the participants for their comments.

If there is a disagreement as to what was said or represented try to use facts rather than attacks to bring out the truth. If the other person has facts or records, view them with an open mind to see if there is a logical reason for the disconnection. Ask him to do the same. If there is a record of the conversation, bring it out.



It is not easy to rectify stepping on a Diamond Back rattler. It is better to watch where you are going before blundering into trouble.

Records are created to be rectified. If notes of a meeting or a contract does not reflect the terms you recall, ask to have them changed or question their accuracy. Assume innocence on the part of the other person but do not let errors stand. You may need to rely on them later and to have not corrected them when you had the chance makes you appear careless and not focused.

Statements are not as easy to correct. Once you have uttered something in a settlement conference, expect it to be relied on by the other person and, when appropriate, used against you. Before responding to a question or offering an opinion take a moment to think through what you are about to say.

In a settlement situation you may need to control the atmosphere by the tone of your remarks. Watch for signs that you are using an inappropriate tone or approach


Signs of discomfort at what you are saying;

-A furrowing of the brow.

-Tensing of the upper body.

-Clenching of the hands.

-A set jaw.

-Leaning forward suddenly.

-Looking away or closing a portfolio, folder or packing a briefcase.

Most important, watch the eyes. When the other person is not focused on you, it are typically not listening. Two-way communications stop at this point.



Suddenly pulled below the surface by a playful porpoise relax and go along for the ride, You need to preserve your air for the ascent. Struggling could use up your air and turn a playful event into a tragic mishap

When settlement discussions hit a roadblock, try to shift from a confrontational mode to a posture that embraces the other person's experience, problems or argument. By relating to his needs, you are demonstrating that you want to solve the problem; not win at all costs. While you may not be able to meet his needs, you may be able to gain some concessions on his part by becoming more empathetic.

One way to relate to an opponent is to physically walk around the table. When viewing a floor plan or site map and actually look at the issue from his perspective. You may see something you missed before. Just the action of going to his side telegraphs your intent to help solve the problem.

Another way rectify discord is to defer to the other person's experience and ask him to come up with solutions using his years of experience. This plays to his ego and is hard to resist. What you are trying to do is force open the door to compromise by making the person talk about the solution rather than remain focused on the disparity of your positions.



A raging gorilla thumps its chest letting others know he is the biggest, meanest, nastiest gorilla in the jungle. He repeats this performance until all the challengers back down. It is better to stave off a challenge than to risk defeat.

Once you have defined your strategy in a ‘message;, use it. Thread it into each of your arguments. Build on it. Never let it be forgotten. The goal is to make the listener a believer; or at least believe that you believe it.

By creating a repeating theme you reinforce for those in the room that this is what you believe, this is what they should consider, and this is what you expect. A mediator does this at the onset by outlining his or her rules of mediation. The parties acknowledge them and the mediator will enforce them by repeating them when appropriate. A negotiator uses the same tactic to reinforce the purpose of his being present and as a back drop for each argument.



Bull caribou spar at the beginning of each rutting season. It takes great resolve to become the dominant bull. But the ritual results in the strongest genes being passed down each generation.

Committing to dispute resolution as a career requires one with resolve, tenacity and the desire to excel. Whether you are a negotiator or mediator, you can expect your mettle to be tested time and again. Every settlement conference is likely to be a marathon where the strongest prevail and diligence is rewarded with success.

There is the potential for significant satisfaction in resolving each aspect of a dispute. This is the reward for being constantly ready to enter the fray. It is not a profession for the average person. While typically civil, it is a forum of combat.

Mediation is like arbitrating between warring factions. A mediator needs to be able to disarm staunch resolve and bring the parties together to achieve the peace. Much of this is done in the emotional arena. Mediators understand that feelings of respect and integrity often are more meaningful to the parties then the claims stated by each.



When a shot is fired across your bow, it is human nature to retaliate. But the seasoned pirate knows when to slip away in the fog and when to turn and engage the frigate.

The negotiation process is a series of thrusts and parries. When one party draws blood with a well placed thrust, the other person is quick to try to regain some collateral with a deft parry. The key to being effective throughout the process is not to lose sight of the overall goal. Strategically thrust and parry in a fashion that moves you toward your goal. Retaliation merely to get even is wasting opportunities on one's ego rather than making ground toward the objective.

Do not become so embroiled in the negotiating process that winning or retaliating becomes more important that achieving your goal or preserving a relationship. The relationship may potentially yield greater dividends if allowed to survive this battle.

Dispute resolution is much like arbitrating two battling forces. Before you can get to the task of solving problems, you have to convince each party that it is in their interest to engage the other in a settlement dialogue.

Mediators utilize different approaches to this task. Most have several approaches to draw upon depending on the situation. The prevalent approach is to stress the savings in time and money that the mediation process offers compared to litigation. Mediation also offers the last chance for the parties to have some control over the outcome of their dispute. Most people prefer not to give away their ability to control the ultimate solution.



Man is the sole species with the desire to seek revenge. No longer worried about base survival needs, emotion rules when revenge is the motive.

The negotiation process is a series of thrusts and parries. Cut, the other person is quick to respond. This is not an example of revenge; this is the dance of a negotiation.

Revenge is not a healthy state of mind for a negotiator. It clouds judgment and opens the door for mistakes. If you feel yourself becoming emotionally entangled in a situation, take a break. Get away from the table and take a short walk or confer with another to clear your head. If the issue is so stressful that you don't feel ready to return to the table, postpone the meeting or send someone else back. In most cases, you have no obligation to continue until you are ready to do so.

A mediator's role is to get the parties to identify when their emotions are getting in the way of settlement and find ways to diffuse the tension. To do so he may suggest a break or a caucus. In a break out session he will want to delve into the causes on one of the parties being so emotionally involved and what the other person might do to resolve the matter. Need Theory research has indicated that threatening one's basic needs of survival trigger a fierce response a higher need of self-actualization may evoke an even more passionate response.



One of the chameleons most distinguishing features is their remarkable ability to change the color of their skin. They change color depending on mood, lighting, temperature and other environmental influences.

Roles are assumed intentionally and unintentionally. They are the human reactions to how they people treated. While assuming a role intentionally is a strategic decision, being forced into a reactive role is the result of another persons tactic, intended or not. It is always wisest to be in control of yourself rather than the puppet of another.

When involved in a dispute settlement conference, be sensitive to how you are reacting to the other person's comments and actions. Try to differentiate between emotional reactions and how you want to present yourself and your argument. It is best to suppress emotional reactions until you want to make a strong statement. An emotive outburst will have more impact if you have been calm and controlled up to that point in the discussions.

It is a reasonable tactic to try to get your opponent to react emotionally in a negotiation. This is especially effective if there are more than two people involved in the discussions. By bringing out the reactive nature of the other person you may be able to undermine his or her credibility in front of the collective audience. Beware that tapping too deeply into the emotive regions of your opponent may result in irrational behavior that becomes counter productive to the settlement process.



The Pygmy Chimpanzee (Bonobo) acts out specific behaviors to communicate. An example is a Bonobo will touch another Bonobo with the hand the head, back, or rump. This acts as a submissive, appeasement or reassurance gesture indicating acceptance of one's social position within the tribe.

Roles can be assumed intentionally and unintentionally. Assuming a role intentionally is a communications tactic.

Communicating is required to have negotiations. Understanding the dynamics of effective communications in conflict settings is essential to the outcome. Role playing is one of many means of telegraphing your message.

Tactical Role Playing Situations:

-Assume a leadership role within a small group to direct the discussion.

-Take on an instructional mode to inform and convince the other party of the merit of your position.

-Becoming empathetic and supportive of the other person's dilemma to help them solve their situation while advancing your cause.

-Become agitated and confrontational (posturing) in reaction to the other person's proposed terms to emphasize your position.

-Pretend that you are the other person and consider things from their perspective to give you a better understanding of their position and why they may be fighting so hard.

-Pretend that you are the other person and consider things from their perspective to help you anticipate how they will counter your arguments or the issues they will be raising.

-Suggest the other person pretend they are you and consider things from your perspective is a way to get them to roll play in a fashion designed to open their eyes as to your logic.

Communication concepts are important to understanding human interaction. The ability to effectively state your message is obviously of utmost importance.





A bull baboon does not beat its chest for the fun of self-inflicted pain. He is saying to one and all, I am the man; I am to be respected; I am the only one who counts in iths part of the jungle!

If your opponent is rude, overbearing and antagonistic, change your approach and try to find out if he is acting this way because he is defensive or just spoiled by power. Understanding the 'why' behind an act gives you insight as to how to handle the situation. Many people will become defensive and antagonistic if they are losing ground or know they are on thin ice. Reacting in anger only achieves their goal of stalling negotiations to avoid a loss.

Your objective as either a negotiator or mediator is to keep discussions moving. Avoid the anger trap and handle offensive opponents much as you would an overly tired child. Change the subject or take a break and revisit the issue at another time.

How to handle rudeness:

-Do not get irritated or angry.

-Change the topic to a personal issue such as common hobbies or interests while you source the reason for such poor behavior.

-Back off and regroup around another issue to give you time to plan a different strategy or approach.

-Do not get irritated or angry.

-Confront the matter head on by simply asking why the other person is acting so rudely or improperly when all you are talking about is a simple issue you should be able to work out together.

-Confront the matter head obliquely by simply asking a third party such as his secretary or co-worker why the other person is acting so rudely or improperly. You may find the cause to be an unrelated situation such as his not getting the bonus or raise he was expecting.

-Do not get irritated or angry.


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