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8- Tip of the Week: The power of walking away

The power of walking away. Pretty strange that I would talk about, let alone say encouraging words, about walking away...Don't get me wrong, those who mediate with me hear more often than they care that their "butts are superglued to the chair" until we settle. However, even die-hard optimists like myself must recognize that there is a time and place for...walking away.

However, this should ONLY occur after giving thorough, open-minded attention and consideration to the input about your risk factors in going to trial, and after rationally and objectively evaluating the risk to the client of walking away from a settlement offer on the table. Sometimes the parties after a long, tiring day, may just need a "break" to think more clearly. In such instances, the mediator should be prompt with follow-up. Walking away does carry significant risks, including losing momentum, retreating to the unrealistic view of the case held before going to mediation, and that the other side will take their last offer off the table. On the other hand, it may cause the other side to reconsider their position knowing you feel strongly enough to walk away.

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