How to persuade others by using multiple explanation analysis. Persuasion is the process of changing minds. Persuasion is an everyday part of human discourse. It is used by salesmen, parents, teachers, and many others – basically all of us. Persuasion in mediation is a two-way street. Long before you try to influence another to moderate their demands or consider the other side’s point of view, chances are good that they will have tried to convince you to their position.
It’s my experience in order to be an effective mediator, I must engage in various forms of persuasion. I do not engage in coercive or manipulative persuasion practices by which pressure brought to bear on reluctant participants to get a settlement. I do use a range of potential mediator interventions to help the parties resolve deeply held or competitively bargained differences. *
Multiple explanation analysis or Why I could lose
How it works
This is a form of self persuasion. The party explores alternative theories the justices could apply to the case to change the outcome. Basically, the question is how they might lose the argument.
When working with people to resolve their conflict in mediation, I keep asking simple questions on how they intend to prove their case. I start in the beginning, asking what the true cause of the conflict is and how that will be viewed by a jury. Many times we are offended by some thing only to find out that it is very hard to prove and may in fact not be illegal.
Why it works
By examining every aspect of a case it overcomes single explanation bias. There might be many explanations for what happened and why it happened. In many disputes that I have resolved, they would never have become a major conflict, if someone had just picked up the phone and asked, “What do you mean by this.”
*Stark, James H. and Frenkel, Douglas N., Changing Minds: The Work of Mediators and Empirical Studies of Persuasion (2013). Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution, Vol. 28, No. 2, Pg. 263, 2013; U of Penn Law School, Public Law Research Paper No. 11-07
**Why the picture of Cross Country runners? It takes a lot of pursuasion to get them to the finish line.
About the Author: Ken Strongman (www.kpstrongman.com) 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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