Credibility Is Currency

The most consistently challenged aspect of offers and counter-offers throughout a mediation is credibility.  It becomes a currency of sorts in negotiating.

From the outset of negotiation, parties are sizing each other up – analyzing the strength of positions and evidentiary support – and disputing the credibility of each and the weight they are to be given.

Bargaining strength, then, is really related to the ability to convince and persuade;  and credibility leads to these ends by conveying both expertise and trustworthiness.

It behooves negotiators, therefore, to keep representations in check;  refrain from making unsubstantiated demands and responses, overstating (or failing to acknowledge) weak arguments or witnesses, and overly relying on yet-to-be-secured evidence.  And if you already practice in this tempered manner, you know the benefit of not having to compensate.


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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