Thursday, July 31, 2014

Using Diplomacy in Negotiation

diplomacyquotes
In my humble opinion, neither missiles nor trials are effective at getting the message across to an unwilling, unreceptive party.  In these troubling times in the Ukraine and the Middle East, I find myself returning to my undergraduate training in International Relations at Pomona College, where we students of diplomacy were advised to choose our negotiating partners wisely by picking the person whom we most trusted to carry the message of our people or our cause with the most respect, tact and reserve, but forcefully and convincingly.

During mediations, at times when the emotions are high and the level of misunderstanding and distrust even higher, I find myself resorting to these old diplomatic lessons.  I straighten my scarf (preferably an expensive one from Paris, France), I turn up the highest polite etiquette (addressing everyone by Mr. or Mrs. and standing when they enter or leave the room).  I breathe deeply before I say anything, carefully considering the way each message is delivered and received.  In short, sometimes mediation calls for the same formality as diplomacy.  Once the parties have selected a trusted third party neutral, they are more apt to receive her message with open-mindedness and even gratitude for leading the way out of conflict.  I wish the Israeli's and Palestinians could agree upon a trusted third party who might be able to speak so each could listen and listen, so each could speak.  Maybe then there would be some acceptable framework for dialogue and creative solutions.

In what ways do you summon diplomacy to achieve better settlement results in litigated cases?