In 2013 I published my first book on mediation advocacy and listed a selection of words and phrases that mediation advocates use all the time at mediations and which always have a negative effect.
When they are used the other side just groans. Mediators experience the onset of déjà vu. Energy leaves the room. Cliches stifle new thought and become barriers to real communication. So why use them?
Two experienced mediators, after reading my book, devised the game of Lingo Bingo. When they read the position papers and hear the opening statements from advocates at mediation they cross them off the list.
I share some of them with you now so that you know to avoid them.
Points 1 to 5 are unnecessarily aggressive. They are not creating an atmosphere conducive to peace making. Points 6-8 send out the wrong message, i.e. that the speaker/writer is doing everyone a favour by being there. Doing business is not on their agenda. Points 9-11 are just lame and no one ever takes them seriously.
In my posts on preparing position papers and opening statements I stress the importance of knowing