What’s In Your Demand?

Demands – sometimes they’re based on calculated costs, sometimes pure emotion, and sometimes they have nothing to do with the dispute.  For example, I’ve heard them tied to credit card debt, the cost of tuition, and even the price of re-siding one’s house.

Regardless, knowing the basis for the demand (as well as counter-demand) may be one of the most essential ingredients to a satisfying outcome, and mediation provides the opportunity to attain this clarity.

Not only does this serve parties as an anchor in their negotiation, it lets them know when they’ve reached a stopping point and can drop the rope, so to speak.

Even if the impasse or endpoint isn’t exactly at where they wanted to be, they can consider something “close enough.”  This is because identifying what the number symbolizes makes it conceptually easier for parties to measure and conduct their risk/benefit analysis.  Incidentally, it also opens up possibilities for creative substitutions.

When I mediate, I work on this from early in the session and throughout – with each person at the table – because time and time again, I see it raise the value of satisfaction in the process, and the outcome.

About Maria Hanna Joseph

Maria Hanna Joseph is Principal of Joseph Mediation. Her 25 years of experience in employment law, include 16+ of work and mediating for the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination which through which she has gained valuable insight into the MCAD, its practices and decision making. This, as well as her experience in plaintiff and defense litigation, with private and public sector clients, international and local business concerns, and in issues from harassment and discrimination, to noncompetition agreements, business operation, transgender workplace matters, retaliation and many others, lend her valuable perspective for understanding and mediating an array of legal and personal issues. In terms of volume, Maria has served more than 2,000 cases. Maria's practice has been honed with study of mediation at Harvard Law School's Program of Instruction for Lawyers, negotiation at Harvard Law School's Program on Negotiation, and in the disciplines of Transformative Mediation and Family/Domestic Mediation, which are significant assets in managing the personal nature of employment disputes, and conflict in general. Attorneys and parties know Maria as candid, pragmatic and persevering in her commitment to help them achieve meaningful settlements while keeping sight of their most important interests. The insight and creativity afforded by her experience and training are realized in the resolutions that manifest. These qualities, along with her demeanor and the trust she engenders, have earned Maria a reputation for being able to manage highly tense and fraught situations and individuals, and settle a wide variety of disputes and tough cases.
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