From the desk of My Collaborative Team President, Edward S. Sachs, CPA
The key to the Collaborative Process is the use of Interest Based Negotiations as opposed to the more common positional bargaining.
Robert Fisher, William Ury, and Bruce Patton, in their great book “Getting to Yes” encourage us to embrace the emotions found in any negotiation. Make sure you talk about emotions with the other side. Making feelings known will allow the other side to see how serious the problem may be. It will also make the negotiations less reactive and more proactive.
Letting off steam often opens the door for more rational discussion. People get a release through the process of recounting the concerns and grievances to a listening audience. I recently had a case in Gainesville in which the husband had taken some unfortunately nasty actions against the wife. The first team meeting began with an airing of grievances and an apology not only from the husband but from the husband’s Collaborative attorney on behalf of the husband and a pledge by the attorney that he would try to make sure that the incident would not occur again.
Dealing with the emotions of the case allowed us to move forward. As Fisher, Ury, and Patton write, “An apology may be one of the least costly and most rewarding investments you can make.”