Eye Contact May Not Be Such A Great Way To Persuade

Negotiators, mediators, ombuds, and other conflict resolution professionals might want to take into consideration the following research with respect to eye contact. 
 My research, as has many others, states eye contact is a primary way to build rapport and trust. Read more below to find out when eye contact might not be beneficial.

Published on December 2, 2013 by David DiSalvo/PsychologyToday.com in Neuronarrative

Few popular beliefs are as unshakable as, “If you want to influence someone, always make direct eye contact.” But new research suggests that this bit of sturdy pop lore is hardly gospel—in fact, in many circumstances a direct gaze may result in the exact opposite effect.

Researchers from Harvard, the University of British Columbia and the University of Freiberg used newly developed eye-tracking technology to test the claim during two experiments. In the first, they had study participants watch a speaker on video while tracking their eye movements, and then asked how persuaded they were by the speaker. Researchers found that the more time participants spent looking into the speaker’s eyes, the less persuaded they were by the speaker's argument. The only time looking into the speaker’s eyes correlated with being influenced was when the participants already agreed with the speaker’s opinions.

So the first takeaway is: when a speaker gives an opinion contrary to the audiences’, looking into her or his eyes has the exact opposite of the intended effect.

In a second experiment…
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Mandatory Mediation? Good or Bad Idea- Share your thoughts!

Just a reminder that if anyone wants to submit their thoughts, tomorrow is the closing period for comments. Regardless of your view, like voting, it should be shared. The email is:CommDivMedPilot@nycourts.gov

Here is the direct link (a PDF file) explaining how to send comments as well as the proposal: http://www.nycourts.gov/rules/comments/PDF/PC-PacketCommDivMedPilot.pdf

Below is a recent article on the proposal, I looked for another to present a neutral or positive view too but couldn't find any.

From the proposal:

  • The parties will be given flexibility to select their own mediator or request once from the Commercial Division's roster of neutrals.
  • The proposal, if approved, will last only for 18 months so it can be reviewed. 
  • Mediation must be complete within 180 days of assignment to a Commercial Division Justice
Are you a mediator and want to join the roster of neutrals?  Here's the application:

From the application:
  • Requirements: have at least 10 years of experiences a practitioner of commercial law or, for accountants or business, an equivalent level of experience, and meet training and experience requirements of Part 146
  • Mediations proceed for four hours without charge to the parties.
Here's my thoughts:

According to the document, the purpose of the pilot is to continue to make "New York a desirable place to conduct business and the Commercial Division as a forum that will facilitate the cost-effective solution of their disputes."  Why should this cost-effective measure include four free hours?  What other profession provides four hours of free service?

I wonder, does the court require any other profession to work their first four hours for free? This reminds me of the Global Pound Conference talking about the state of mediation- is it a profession or a mainly a volunteer corps? 

Enjoy,

Jeff

Mediation Mandatory? Not Everyone Thinks It's A Good Idea

(via ADRhub,com) Before everyone starts celebrating the news about the new mediation program in Manhattan, here's another viewpoint that is worth reading:
(Wall Street Journal Law Blog/Jacob Gershman) New York State’s court system is poised to launch a pilot program in Manhattan Supreme Court that would require that every fifth case assigned to judges in its commercial division go to mediation.
The plan —  first floated by a judicial task force in 2012  – could help lighten the caseload of a court system under tough budgetary pressure. The Manhattan Supreme Court carries a particularly heavy docket, especially within its commercial division.
Jeff Kichaven, a Los Angeles-based mediator who handles cases in New York and other states, said the rule would make litigation more expensive, and urged the court office to scrap the whole idea. He says he’s worried about the cost of litigation under such a program, as well as its coercive nature. “These mediations will be a burden to everyone involved (except maybe the judge),” he wrote.

Read the full article from the Wall Street Journal Law Blog [HERE].
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Writing Competition for Conflict Resolution Students

Please pass along this great opportunity for current students:

I’m excited to announce the annual Student Writing Competition in ADR organized by the Association for Conflict Resolution for Greater New York (ACR-GNY) and generously sponsored by the JAMS Foundation. 
This is a nationwide writing contest for Undergraduate students, Graduate students and Law students. The three first-prize winners (one for each category) will receive $500 and an invitation to present their paper at our annual conference at Cardozo Law School in June – a phenomenal networking opportunity. If you teach or know students who may be interested, please pass this along. The entry deadline is April 30, 2014.
Read more about the competition here: http://acrgny.org/student_writing_competition
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Mediation Might Not Be Such A Good Idea

Before everyone starts celebrating the news about the new mediation program in Manhattan, here's another viewpoint that is worth reading:

Jeff Kichaven, a Los Angeles-based mediator who handles cases in New York and other states, said the rule would make litigation more expensive, and urged the court office to scrap the whole idea. He says he’s worried about the cost of litigation under such a program, as well as its coercive nature. “These mediations will be a burden to everyone involved (except maybe the judge),” he wrote.

...The program was recommended by an advisory team appointed by New York Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman and headed by Robert Haig of Kelley Drye & Warren LLP. The team said in a letter last year said it viewed its proposal as “fairly conservative.”
Read the full article from the Wall Street Journal Law Blog [HERE].
read more "Mediation Might Not Be Such A Good Idea"

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