Negotiating for results

Edward De Bono refers to people that falls into an either or mindset as people having Table Top thinking. Flat and one dimensional. In my Mediation Practice I see this very often, people deciding what the result and cause of the conflict,disagreement is before having heard the other side of the story. In Commercial mediation to get the Parties out of that kind of thinking by asking them before we start mediating to consider the following. There is a difference between a demand and a negotiation. Demand does not allow for creative and alternative’s invention. So I ask them to look at the mediation as a negotiation and come to the fore with the following three positions. 
1.Their Ideal position, that position that if they get that they will be ecstatic.
2. Their Fall back position, that position that they want and will be OK to live with but that might not be as good as the best.
3. Walk away position. This is what they must have and if they dont get it they wont or cant settle.
It is amazing that when you ask people to look at a problem/dispute from that perspective it opens up a possibly of finding creative solutions. 
Table top thinking is an either or thinking, my way or the highway. In itself that thinking does not lend itself to solutions. Life is not a problem to be solved or a situation where you need to insist that your way is the only way. Life is about negotiating the best alternative to suit your position where you find yourself at this moment in time


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