Negotiation, mediation and facilitation during a pandemic

Covid-19 in white letters with red background in front of two shaking hands

We are in an interesting time. Never have we seen a pandemic like this before in our lives. What if you are currently involved with a negotiation, a mediation or a facilitation at this time? What are things to think about? What should you do? This abbreviated blog provides with some rational ideas on how to proceed.

Epidemiologists that study pandemics think this will last 12 to 18 months  and the American Hospital Association believes that within three months we need to plan for 96 million cases, 4.8 million hospitalizations and 480,000 deaths in the U.S. So what actions should you take if you are currently involved with a negotiation, mediation or facilitation in business? Can you postpone it? If not here are some ideas to help you now.

A checklist for your consideration

As a mediator I have come across an excellent check list for things to consider for mediators and the parties involved in a mediation. This same checklist can be used for any mediation, negotiation or facilitation for you to consider on how to proceed. This involves the who, what, when, where and how considerations in today’s environment.

Virtual sources

Besides conducting such sessions in person, consider using virtual sources. Some very simple sources with varying quality are Zoom and Skype. Personally, I have found Zoom to offer more options and better clarity of presentations with Zoom, but check them out for yourself. Zoom for example can be kept confidential with a password for participants, but is it possible for experienced hackers that really want in to get in? Some believe so. I don’t know. I have worked with clients that use Zoom all the time and they have been receptive to this approach when dealing with conflict with a third party.

If you really need something that is truly confidential here are three sites that have been recommended to me that claim to be secure and confidential. Consider sources like Tyler Technologies, Modria, and Matterhorn. I have no experience with any of these, but those that have recommend these sources. This is an abbreviated blog this week, but hopefully this can help you as we move into uncharted waters as negotiators, mediators and facilitators.

Be safe, be careful and be well.

About the Author

Mike is a professional speaker, and a mediator/negotiator that helps clients resolve issues and be more productive as a conflict resolution expert. You may contact Mike directly at mg@mikegreg.com and at (651) 633-5311. Mike has written 11 books including, The Servant Manager, Business Valuations and the IRS and Peaceful Resolutions that you may find helpful. [Michael Gregory, ASA, CVA, NSA, MBA, Qualified Mediator with the Minnesota Supreme Court]