In the first of this pair of articles, we discussed the definition of a power imbalance, identified the types of power that may be utilized against another party, and the early signs of a power imbalance. Once a neutral identifies that one of the parties has more power than the other and is using their power to make the negotiations end in their favor, it is important for the neutral to act quickly to attempt to bring the power in the negotiations into balance between the parties.
One of the most noticeable issues that could arise in a negotiation or mediation is an imbalance of power. Often one of the hardest issues to overcome if the neutral or the parties are not prepared, and still difficult when the neutral is prepared, an imbalance can easily throw an otherwise successful dispute resolution process.
Almost everyone has been a mediator. It’s true. If you have stepped into a dispute that had nothing to do with you, and tried to help friends, family, neighbors or coworkers to resolve their differences, you have been a mediator. The custom of using a respected elder to help disputants reach agreement has been going on for thousands of years.Mediation is just something we do as social creatures