By: Michael Young, IAM President and Distinguished Fellow

Posted: May 27, 2015 

Mediators often think about how we can get parties into a different frame of mind. When the current mindset is not allowing for settlement, and we can’t sufficiently address parties’ emotion through empathic and active listening or other methods to satisfy emotional needs, what can be done?

It is the nature of some people to merely focus on the here and now; thinking long term is hard for them. But sometimes they need to focus on the long term. How do we help them do that when it is not in their nature? I sometimes quote the famous British philosopher Mick Jagger: “You can’t always get what you want…But if you try sometimes you just might find…You get what you need.”

Mediation is about getting what you need. But those who are unwilling to think long term actually reverse the quote. But be careful because you just might get what you want — a long and expensive trial — and realize it’s not what you need.

How does this match your reality? Comments and responses are welcome!