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.