JPLA event: From Hostage negotiation to negotiating property disputes: Lessons from a parallel world.

 

On 4 July 2019 JPLA and PLA members attended an ‘From Hostage negotiation to negotiating property disputes: Lessons from a parallel world‘ hosted by Phil Williams (a former hostage negotiator) and Mandy Lenton (property mediator and lead member of the CEDR faculty team).  To start things off Phil carried out an exercise which was aimed at emphasising the importance of “active listening” and trying to find out who the person who are speaking to is and what is motivating them.  Later on Phil showed us the various stages of a hostage negotiation, a big part of which is active listening, empathy and building rapport.  Mandy then explained that this mirrors the stages of a mediation.  One of the dangers in professional negotiations is that we skip or rush those first stages and jump too quickly to problem solving.  At the end of the session, we were invited to take part in a role play with our PLA chair, Bryan Johnston, playing the part of the hostage! Participants had to try and find out why Bryan, an IT consultant who said he was “just doing his job” had gone rogue and barricaded himself in a room.  All in all, this was a highly interactive and thought provoking training session which we hope will help members in how they approach negotiations in future.