There is an often quoted, albeit anonymous, saying: “You must always be willing fully to consider evidence that contradicts your beliefs, and admit the possibility that you may be wrong. Intelligence isn’t knowing everything, it’s the ability to challenge everything you know.”
The belief and conviction in your own case can lead any party to forget that the other side holds an equal conviction in the merits and worth of their own case. Understanding the other side’s viewpoint of their case will assist in concentrating on the real issues at stake, and not simply each party’s position.
In order to fully and properly to prepare for any negotiation, whether taking place directly with the other side, or in a more structured process, such as a contractual negotiation exercise or a mediation, this is the frame of mind clients and lawyers need to develop. It is really about preparation for dialogue, not adversarial battle.
In this insight, Peter Crossley and Max Rockall discuss some helpful pointers and pitfalls in relation to preparing for and participating in mediations and contractual negotiations.