Mediation and Negotiation principles

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Negotiation and mediation are methods aiming at dealing with conflict in a creative and positive way, and to find a solution or a way for people to hear and appreciate the differences between their perspectives.


Negotiation and mediation are highly specialised activities and a simplistic methodology is not available. Specialists are generally required for negotiation and mediation. The following excerpt has been provided as an introduction:

  • Analyse the interest of the parties: this is important to understand the perceptions, the style of negotiation, and the interests and principles of the counterparts, as well as one’s own.
  • Plan the negotiation, and determine:
    • What are the expectations from the negotiation?
    • What are the terms of the negotiation?
    • What are the non-negotiable terms and what can be modified?
    • What is the minimum that an agreement can be reached on?
    • What is the negotiation strategy?
    • What are the most important interests of the other parties?
    • How does one interact with or manage people?
  • Select the appropriate negotiation technique from among the following:
  • Spiralling agreements: begin by reaching a minimum agreement, even though it is not related to the objectives, and build, bit by bit, on this first agreement.
  • Changing of position: formulate the proposals in a different way, without changing the final result.
  • Gathering information: ask for information from the other party to clarify their position.
  • Making the cake bigger: offer alternatives that may be agreeable to the other party, without changing the terms.
  • Commitments: formalise agreements orally and in writing before ending the negotiation.
  • Negotiate: be sensitive and quick to adapt to changing situations, but do not lose sight of the objective. Avoid confrontational positions and try to understand the interests of the other party. Some aspects that could interfere with the negotiation are:
    • Personal positions and interests.
    • Psychological and emotional aspects of the persons (place, placement of chairs, body language, gestures, etc.).
    • Difficulties in communication (differences in languages, different meanings of the same words, etc.).


The author of this article is UNIVE team
The article has been reviewed by Plan Bleu and PAP/RAC
Please note that others may also have edited the contents of this article.