Why it pays to think positive
Managing IP is part of Legal Benchmarking Limited, 4 Bouverie Street, London, EC4Y 8AX
Copyright © Legal Benchmarking Limited and its affiliated companies 2024

Accessibility | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Modern Slavery Statement

Why it pays to think positive

Mary has a problem. The machines she sold to a client malfunctioned. The client refuses to pay until they’re fixed, and is being abusive, but she needs the money to keep the business going

“How would the memory of your father help here?” asks the trainer.


It seems incongruous, but this is part of the positive psychology being taught to mediators as part of the INTA Mediation Continuing Education Course—The Art of Persuasion. The idea is to get parties involved in mediation to think of positive ways they have overcome similar problems in their past. In this example, trainers Jane Juliano and Mary McLain play out a situation where McLain considers how her father inspired her to deal with the fallout from a difficult relationship.


In the same way, Juliano asked her to think about the benefits of a positive outcome to the mediation, such as forming a long-term relationship with the client that led to the growth of her business across North America. “Think big,” Juliano encouraged her. “Think really big.” Exercises like this help turn negative, defensive attitudes into more receptive ones. Given that the parties are usually creative, entrepreneurial people, they often respond well to this opportunity to turn positive.


Sandra A. Sellers, the lead trainer on the course, admits this is a best-case scenario: “Sometimes parties to mediation are too obstreperous or competitive to accept positive techniques.” But that’s ok: there are separate sessions on dealing with difficult personalities.


The two-and-a-half day advanced mediation course, running from Friday to Sunday this year, is limited to 36 people. Six trainers are spread out among the tables, each looking after a group of six throughout the course. It is intimate and interactive.


Last year in Boston INTA introduced a basic mediation course for the first time, and now each Annual Meeting alternates between basic and advanced courses. “This has had the effect of focusing the sessions and bringing people up to the same level,” says Sellers.

more from across site and ros bottom lb

More from across our site

The Grand Board said the applied-for mark would ‘trivialise’ one of the deadliest pandemics in history
Tim Chen Saulsbury explains why single-craft artisans inspire him and how, even at home, he’s never too far from another IP lawyer
The firm also plans to build an entertainment practice group and up its IP and antitrust offerings with a focus on foreign clients
An intimate understanding of a client’s sector is essential to winning new business, a survey of over 28,000 corporate counsel reveals
Counsel say a Federal Circuit ruling on the obviousness test for design patents may increase the time IP owners spend defending their rights
With INTA Annual Meeting over for another year, here are a few things Managing IP learned after attending IP’s biggest party
We provide a rundown of Managing IP’s news and analysis from the week, and review what’s been happening elsewhere in IP
Four sources reveal which tools they have been using – or building – to help them with a range of tasks from invention generation to claim sufficiency
Managing IP reveals Wednesday's highlights, including a discussion on how AI is helping lawyers improve their "gut instinct" trademark decisions
Managing IP reveals Tuesday’s highlights, including an illuminating discussion celebrating women in the workplace and the challenges that remain
Gift this article