Mediation and negotiation oftentimes are one and the same because most mediation involves a dialogue between two or more people trying to reach an outcome that is good for both parties.
Negotiation is a dialogue between two or more people or parties intended to reach a beneficial outcome over one or more issues where a conflict exists with respect to at least one of these issues. This beneficial outcome can be for all of the parties involved, or just for one or some of them.
It is aimed to resolve points of difference, to gain advantage for an individual or collective, or to craft outcomes to satisfy various interests. It is often conducted by putting forward a position and making small concessions to achieve an agreement. The degree to which the negotiating parties trust each other to implement the negotiated solution is a major factor in determining whether negotiations are successful. In many cases, negotiation is not a zero-sum game, allowing for cooperation to improve the results of the negotiation.
People negotiate daily, often without considering it a negotiation. Negotiation occurs in organizations, including businesses, non-profits, and within and between governments as well as in sales and legal proceedings, and in personal situations such as marriage, divorce, parenting, etc. Professional negotiators are often specialized, such as union negotiators, leverage buyout negotiators, peace negotiator, or hostage negotiators. They may also work under other titles, such as diplomats, legislators, or brokers.
Linda D. Smith is a certified mediator having received her training in Salt Lake City, UT with the Utah Dispute Resolution. She is trained as both an general subject mediator and also a family law mediator. If you have been court ordered to attend mediation call us.