In interest-based negotiation, practiced often through mediations, there is an interesting phenomenon that occurs but is not easily explained.

The “Magic” by Evan Wondolowski 

Mediation uses a process that begins with the stating of positions by each party, moves to the exploration of their interests, explores options for mutual gain, and finishes with an agreement. This is an oversimplification of the process for illustrative purposes, but most mediators will tell you that somewhere between the interests being identified and options being explored there is “magic” that happens in the room that moves parties from an adversarial mentality to a collaborative one.

The “magic” that happens is far easier to facilitate in a smaller mediation involving a couple of parties. But, what about larger, multi-party negations and mediations? How can the “magic” occur when there are many parties with a spectrum of interests – even within the same side of a dispute?

Enter a second methodology developed by the MG Taylor Corporation called, Group Genius.

Group Genius is an effective way to accelerate and align on complex decisions that are difficult to manage in traditional meetings. It is executed through collaborative design modules created from MG Taylor’s models such as Scan-Focus-Act that help groups gather information, test and refine it, and then act upon the most durable solutions developed by the group.

Imagine facilitating a complex multi-party negotiation where the “magic” of a smaller mediation is generated using Group Genius design. Diverse positions are explored, interests are identified and aligned upon, and options are created for parties on either side of a dispute before engaging in the larger negotiation.

Marrying mediation and MG Taylor’s methodologies would achieve stronger resolutions than through traditional multi-party negotiation approaches and do so in far less time.  A win-win scenario.