Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Mediation: Small Talk Pays Off

Victoria Pynchon on her Settle It Now blog posted a provocative article about the benefits of small talk in mediation. She used business examples. I wonder if the same results accrue in divorce or child custody or visitation mediations where the small talk has years of history. Any thoughts?

Small Talk and Separate Caucuses : Settle It Now Negotiation Blog: "Small Talk and Separate Caucuses

Most attorneys do not like to begin their mediated negotiations with a joint session and neither do many mediators. The reason most often given is everyone's desire to avoid a polarizing set of zealously adversarial presentations.

Work done by our neighborhood neuroscientists, however, suggests that avoiding joint sessions may deprive us of the 'small talk' necessary to put the parties into a collaborative, even generous mood." [More]

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