Alas, the following elements are true (and important to consider when mediating
changes in positions):
People change their beliefs more readily than they change their actions and
behaviors. The result is that it is easier for a party to change what
they believe or stand for than to change how they act or what they do.
People filter incoming information to delete messages that do not agree with
their beliefs. The result is that if they are hearing a medley or collage
of information, they will distill it to reflect whatever opinions they currently
People are strongly influenced by name-calling and innuendo. Strongly
influenced by naked (unproven) name-calling and innuendo.
People seek to find patterns in information. As a result, people are
driven and have a strong predisposition to find patterns or meaning
in random events.
People will do more out of fear, in order to avoid harm or discomfort, than
out of any other input. Fear is the most powerful of all motivators.
What does this tell mediators? What does it mean for ethical
It means that persuasion must be aimed primarily at emotional needs and
considerations if it is to persuade -- even (in fact, more so) if you are
seeking to persuade attorneys, doctors, judges, or other professionals.
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