___You realize that negotiators, mediators, and fact-finders all actually work in some form of negotiation, which is a process of give and take, aiming at an agreement satisfactory to both parties.
___You understand that negotiation, mediation, and fact-finding are all facets of alternative dispute resolution, or ADR, which provides alternatives to going to court.
___You know that another party is unlikely to engage in any of these activities with you unless he perceives you as a peer, or as having the power to benefit or harm him.
___You prefer to use principled negotiation, the guidelines of which are:
- Separate the people from the problem.
- Focus on interests, not positions.
- Continue to generate options throughout the process, and encourage the other side to do the same.
- Insist that the agreement be based on some objective standard.
What is a negotiator?
___You employ a negotiator to represent your interests in a negotiation or dispute.
What is a mediator?
___You employ a mediator as a neutral facilitator to help you and the other party come to your own agreement.
What is a fact-finder?
___You employ a fact-finder to determine, to the extent possible, the objective realities of a situation when the facts are in doubt or in dispute.
Why would you need a negotiator, mediator, or fact-finder?
You need a negotiator:
___To protect your interests.
___Because you don't have the skills to negotiate for yourself.
___Because the other party has one.
___Because you've tried negotiating yourself, and found it too difficult.
You need a mediator:
___Because you want to come to your own agreement, but don't trust the other party.
___Because you want to avoid an adversary negotiation.
___Because the parties are too distrustful or agitated to be able to negotiate face to face.
___Because your negotiations have stalled or broken down, and you need help to get them back on track.
___Because the other party has requested mediation.
You need a fact-finder:
___To determine the facts, because you and the other party disagree on them.
___Because you believe the other party is not forthcoming or is lying.
How do you go about seeking (and finding) a negotiator, mediator, or fact-finder?
___You look for a negotiator, mediator, or fact-finder to help you settle a negotiation or dispute by consulting:
- The Yellow Pages.
- The Internet.
- Federal, state, and local public ADR programs.
- The court system.
- Community mediation programs.
- University law schools.
- The bar association.
- The American Arbitration Association and other professional associations.
- Individual professionals.
- Word of mouth.
___You persuade the other party to enter into negotiation, mediation, or fact-finding by presenting the positive aspects of the process:
- Mutual benefit
- Low cost
- Saving of time and trouble
- The opportunity to craft your own agreement
- The advantages over the alternatives
___You demonstrate good faith by fully sharing with the other party the choosing of an individual mediator or fact-finder and the structuring of the process.
___You persuade an authority to order or recommend ADR by:
- Filing a formal complaint.
- Seeking enforcement of existing laws and regulations.
- Pointing out the consequences of the failure to settle the dispute or issue in question.