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In Place of Strife

The Mediation Chambers

Don't give up on the telephone

Have you noticed how smartphones and emails have massively reduced the number of voice calls? Train carriages are quieter as people text and email. In offices, this is reflected in greater use of email and a reluctance to pick up the phone.  Who wants to be bothered with telephone ping pong when a quick email will do the trick?

But will it do the trick? Emails can be ignored and they can be misinterpreted. When I'm chasing up a mediation bundle, I'm frequently given the response that we're waiting for the other side to agree the index. Why not pick up the phone? Not only can you quickly agree the index, but there's also the potential to learn lots of other useful stuff, such as who's attending the mediation, who has the authority to make decisions - even what is likely to be the opposition's range for settlement. It's also the opportunity to build rapport with your opposite number. You can't do that by email.

Mediator: Mark Jackson-Stops

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