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Tips to Manage at the Negotiating Table
behavior, how you conduct yourself at the negotiating table can work for you or
this is a negotiating table, not a court of law or arbitrator’s office. In
negotiating, there is little to prove and all to negotiate.
is about how to move forward, not prove who necessarily did what. The service
provider is there to help you both reach a resolution between yourselves.
providers are not there to take sides although some may express opinions or
offer information to facilitate your negotiation. You certainly can raise
contentious issues. It doesn’t mean the other side has to agree to one’s
point of view. Interestingly though, plans can often be put in place to mitigate
concerns without either ever having to admit anything. If there are allegations
of untoward behavior, without admitting culpability, plans may still be
available to move forward and to have contingencies in the event someone engages
in untoward behavior.
if a parent really needs to prove something in order to move forward then
negotiations can break down. If a parent is looking for validation, a confession
or closure, then too negotiations can break down. If a parent continually seeks
to induct the service provider into their view of the other parent and towards
support of their position, then too, negotiations can break down. Keep in mind,
the goal of negotiation is a settlement or resolution – an agreement on how to
co-parent moving forward.
is not uncommon for parents to hear things from the other that trigger emotions.
When triggered, it can be a challenge to; mind one’s own behavior; let the
other person finish; maintain one’s emotional composure; respond in a civil or
some persons, knowing their former partner’s triggers, may intentionally
provoke to undermine the other person’s self-confidence and stability while at
the negotiating table. Some provocation can be overt and readily observable,
such as shouting, name calling, scowls or other gestures. Other provocations can
be subtle and not readily observable such as use of particular words; gestures
not visible to the service provider; or calmly mentioned allegations to incite
the service provider will do everything possible to manage behavior in the midst
of a meeting, final control of one’s behavior continues to reside with
oneself. If one or other person does not control their behavior with or without
being triggered, then again, negotiations may fail.
getting to the negotiating table it may be constructive to speak with your
lawyer or a divorce coach about your deportment in the process – how you will
present and handle yourself. Your lawyer or a divorce coach can prepare and
teach you skills to manage in the situation as well as help you understand and
appreciate the goal of the negotiation process. While at the negotiating table,
consider these tips to manage your own behavior:
why would anyone put themselves through negotiation? The answer is because
negotiated agreements tend to be better lasting and better followed than
decision imposed by a court or arbitrator.
a tough negotiation, consider those tips! Needs help to master those and other
strategies to get through your negotiation, consider a divorce
– not all negotiations are tough. In fact, many are not and many are
experienced remarkably positive. Depending on your service provider as well as
reaching an agreement, many parents also learn the tools to communicate more
effectively themselves to better address future issues that may arise.
Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
Call Gary for your next conference and for expert opinion on family matters. Services include counselling, mediation, assessment, assessment critiques and workshops.
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