In Conflict, it is never a bad idea to have a cooling off period

Margaret Heffernan final counterintuitive idea to encourage healthy conflict would be after a decision is made, declare a cooling off period.    Her suggestion is to ask everyone to go home and think about the decision on their own as well as discuss it with their associates.  Then come back after a prescribed amount of time and ask the group: does the decision still look great?

In the real world that is a great idea but not always practical.   That is why I prefer to allocate the entire day to my mediations.   It allows everyone time to cool off through out the day and to make the emotional journey towards a great settlement.  It is still an emotional journey even if the dispute is a multi-million dollar construction defect case or paten infringement case.

Ken Strongman, MediatorAbout the Author: Ken Strongman ( has years of experience and a growing national reputation as a mediator and arbitrator.  He has successfully resolved more than a thousand disputes in the fields of construction defects, real estate, intellectual property, and employment.  He is also a Mediator and Arbitrator for FINRA.

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