To encourage parties to propose reasonable solutions. So that offers are more likely to be accepted.
The Institute for mediation and family law training in the Netherlands (IMFO) have devised the Onion Peel Questions. These help to show how an individual's views and opinions are made up of different 'layers', which can be gradually peeled back to reveal their real core interests, and stimulate to see what they really need to ask for.
Play the role:
Let each of the other party's position articulate / represent.
Make the problem more abstract / general and then private again
In order to reach an agreement in conflict resolution through mediation methods; it is important that parties have to sacrifice some things for each other; this means that parties need to sacrifice things for agreement. The following points can help mediators to make parties to sacrifice for the solution:
Introduction of objective criteria: In Cambodia a mediator reported that he would tell the parties about successful experiences in previous cases which can help to frame the agreement that the parties come to.
Point out the weakness in positions of parties: In Indonesia, a mediator reported to look for the weak-points in the case of the party who is not making reasonable offers (for example lack of a formal work contract in employment disputes or ambiguity of possible outcomes in court). They then highlight how they cannot be sure of a good outcome in court, and so making an offer that is accepted by the other party is a better way of addressing the problem.
Establish Principles: In Indonesia, a mediator reported that although he does not talk about the sums involved, they establish the principle behind the fair distribution in general terms. This might be that it is right that party X should pay 'something' to help party Y. These general practices are sometimes reached through imagining situations where the roles are reversed. He noted that mediators also use their moral authority (as respected members of the village/community) to help parties agree to these general principles, which leads to them making more reasonable offers. Agree on fees if parties ignore a good resolution proposal: Among the Tumpuon people in Cambodia it is a practice that when the disputing parties reject a proposal of compensation of the Kanong (first facilitator), but later agree with a compensation proposal of an equal or lesser amount of the the Krak Phoang or Krak Shrok (second facilitator), the Kanong can penalise the disputing parties requiring them to pay addition fees (chicken and wine). As an example, party A files a complaint against party B for defamation. The Kanong mediates for a compensation of a pig the size of three chap and a jar of wine. Party A turns down the off er and demands a pig the size of five chap, while party B bargains for only a chicken and a jar of wine. The two parties go to the Krak Phoang or Krak Shrok. In the end, the Krak Phoang or Krak Shrok manages to persuade the two parties to agree on a solution of a pig the size of three chap and a jar of wine. This means that the Krak Phoang’s or Krak Shrok’s proposed resolution is the same amount as the Kanong’s. In such cases, the two parties must each pay phak to the Kanong consisting of a chicken and a jar of wine.
Asking the question: what is your theory? how did you arrive at this figure? Is a good way to demand for arguments for a position that is taken by parties on what is a fair share.
Getting to Yes, William Ury, 1981, p.88
Smart Questions to support reflection on positions
Bouille L and Nesic, M., Mediation p.171
Promote empathy:Ask them to both imagine themselves in the both parties position, and to think about how both parties would feel about the decision.
Batson, C. D., D. A. Lishner, et al. (2003). "“... As you Would have Them Do Unto You”: Does Imagining Yourself in the Other's Place Stimulate Moral Action?" Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 29(9): 1190-1201.
Parties with no alternatives, or equal opportunity for alternatives engage in more constructive negotiations
Giebels, E., C. K. W. De Dreu, et al. (2000). "Interdependence in negotiation: effects of exit options and social motive on distributive and integrative negotiation." European Journal of Social Psychology 30(2): 255-272.
De Dreu, C. K. W. and P. J. Carnevale (2003). Motivational Bases Of Information Processing and Strategy in Conflict and Negotiation. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology. P. Z. Mark, Academic Press. Volume 35: 235-291.
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