Within-Party Differences

Stephen Thom
CRS Mediator, Los Angeles Office

This rough transcript provides a text alternative to audio. We apologize for occasional errors and unintelligible sections (which are marked with ???).


How do you identify them [neutrals]?


Well, in any of these groups that we work with, there's a range of personalities on any side. You have the adamant positions, they're wrong, I'm right, I'm going to get my piece. Then you have the hangers-on who don't see it at the same level of compassion and anger, and they tend to be more objective. I look for these people because they are very important in preparing for the mediation process. In our mediations, we usually have 5 to 7 people on either side. If you diagram the personalities that sit at the table, I kind of hone in on who I can depend on in really being my aides and will assist me, who are the ones that are basically just positional bargainers, and which are the ones that I can count on really giving me a more objective insight. So, working with the personalities and the positions of the parties themselves is important in knowing who to go to, who to ask questions, who to diagnose the problems and issues with and who might give you a possible solution, etc. Even within the parties you can find diverse views and position to help the mediation process.