Making offers at mediation

Gary WebberMediation

Don’t rely on the mediator to present your offer. Do it direct. Ask to have a meeting with the other side, with the mediator present, and set out your proposals. As you do so look carefully at the body language of your negotiating partner. Watch the reactions. Be prepared to answer any questions that may be asked.

Sometimes parties want the mediator to take the offer through to the other room because they know it will not, or at least is unlikely to be, acceptable. They don’t want to risk looking the other side in the eye as they present the proposals. This is a waste of time and energy and is likely to sour the negotiations. If you don’t believe in the offer, don’t make it.