Conflict Resolution / Negotiation / Mediation

Sometime around 1990 I taught my first public seminar: “Women’s Self-Defense”. Back then I was quite surprised about the number of women interested in the topic. And I taught them how to deal with situations of conflict – forcibly if needed. In the meantime I learned one or two things… 😉

Conflict and negotiations are regular occurences in our jobs – often hidden and subconsciously and at other times open and directly. I first learned about the Harvard principled negotiation approach as part of my MBA studies in California in the course “Negotiation & Mediation”. I frequently and successfully used the approach at work abroad and in Germany. And of course I was quite frustrated at times when I did not prepare well.

Negotiations: Preparation and Support

A proper preparation provides clarity in regard to the own interests as well as the interests of the other party or parties in the negotiation. It creates clarity on all the parties involved, parties concerned and parties interested in the negotiations. And it can provide ideas on additional options for solutions, so that a win-win-situation can result. It will also include the Best Alternative To Negotiated Agreement (BATNA), that each party can fall back on if the negotiation fails. (As a sidenote: If we don’t have a BATNA, we actually don’t have a negotiation.)

Negotiation preparation is a clearly structured process that can be applied on the spot with some practice. However, for complex negotiations they can take hours and will evolve together with the negotiation process. A good preparation provides security, orientation, direction, agility and good coordination with the negotiation principal.

Negotiations will turn up new facts and topics and the interests of the parties involved will ideally get sorted out. New information can make the negotiations more complex or more emotional and challenge the negotiator. In these situations a proper continued, complete and revised negotiation documentation is indeed essential. Complex situations call for good cooperation between negotiator and negotiation principal.

I have supported a number of clients in the preparations of and during negotiations, sometimes as co-negotiator – in person and by phone. I have also participated in complex negotiations in my roles as managing director and member of the executive board on behalf of the companies / owners.

If you are interested in my support for your negotiation preparation, during ongoing negotiations or for negotiation trainings, please contact me by email or at +49 170 8036432.

Conflict as Opportunity

Conflicts cannot be avoided in our lifes – at work or in private life. We will always meet people who have different opinions and perspectives, the resources needed are scarce or seem scarce, we don’t listen to each other, miss each other’s point or speak different tounges or languages. In particular organizations who value diversity or want to increase diversity (be it in regard to cultures, gender, age structure, education, vocational training, …), good processes and practices for resolving conflict is are of particular importance.

Once we become aware of the positive side of conflicts – they point uns to something, that is of particular importance to us or the other parties – we can learn to use them for improving the relationship. Curiosity, interest, open-mindedness, empathy, presence, perspective taking and also the skills of meta-cognition and affect-regulation help us, to learn more about ourselves and the others. This in turn may help us to resolve the conflicts, to let the matter rest at other times or at least to control our part in them. The way we handel conflict can either build trust or destroy existing trust rather quickly.

If you are interested in my work in conflict resolution or conflict management as part of coaching, in trainings or as facilitator of group processes, please contact me by email or at +49 170 803 6432.

Conflict and Emotions

One of the particular interests in my work and in particular in coachings and meditation is on dealing with emotions in situations of conflict and in negotiation. Conflict and negotiations can induce very strong emotions in us. They may touch on vulnerabilities in ourselves or in the other party. Or the other party may consciously try to evoke strong emotions in us. Therefore, it can be important to learn about emotional management and affect regulation as well as working with arc of suspension that is inherent in negotiations and conflict. Both, cognitive and non-cognitive strategies are important for this purpose. Therefore, I like to include the training of emotional intelligence into the preparation, support or post-processing of conflicts or negotiations.

If you are interested in my approaches in regards to conflict resolution and emotions or are looking for support for resolving an emotionally charged conflict please feel free to contact me by email or at +49 170 803 6432.

Mediation

If both parties agree, I can support them in finding a mutual agreement to a conflict through a process of mediation. Both parties have to accept me in the role as mediator in equal measure, as I will work for both parties as impartial mediator.

Mediation does not guarantee mutual agreement or solutions to conflict – however, it can be a lot cheaper if compared to the cost of going to court, both, financially and emotionally. And organizations might also save on reputational cost that court proceedings might bear.

If you are interested in my work in mediation, please contact me by email or at +49 170 803 6432.