recently picked up quite a handy piece of advice, and I wanted to pass it on. It’s called “Yes, No, and I’ll Think About It.” And, I’m pretty sure it’s gonna make my job (and yours) as a mediator a LOT easier!

All of us have probably been in mediations (or, at least, heard about mediations) where the parties can’t make a decision. Or, they make a decision and go on and on and on about WHY he/she has made the decision.

So, here’s a handy tip if you find yourself in that kind of situation: Apply the “Yes, No, I’ll Think About It” strategy.untitled (15)

Either at the beginning of the mediation–or at any time after–inform the parties that they won’t have to defend their position on anything if they don’t want to. Instead, they can answer with “Yes,” “No,” or “I’ll Think About It.” Case closed.

Naturally, we all want to give our answer–and, then defend the reasons why we answered the way we did. But, I find that it isn’t helpful to learn why a person makes a decision to accept or pass on a concession. It just seems to lengthen the amount of time it takes to move on (although, it may help the person defending the position feel better).

Instead, if all the parties involved understand that the “why” isn’t necessary, then, it makes it easier to accept an answer and move on to a more productive discussion.

I really like this idea, and I can even think of ways this could be helpful outside of the mediation room (in parenting, for example). So, try it out and see how it works–and report back!


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