You Have to “Get It”/Martin Rosenfeld, JD

Posted on February 28, 2017


Matt Lattimer was a speechwriter for President George W. Bush. He was recently cited as giving “advice” for President Trump as the President readied for his State of the Union speech. Mr. Lattimer was quoted as saying this:”Trump doesn’t have to reinvent himself, but he does have to show that he gets it.” It is difficult even for a very proficient mediator to get the parties to reinvent themselves. They will not make overnight changes in their demeanor, their communication, or even in the way they interact with each other. A mediator can however create an atmosphere whereby the individuals can show that they “get it”. It is perhaps not an ultimate goal but it is one that makes progress possible.

A party in a dispute needs to be heard. Perhaps an opposing party will not give them precisely what they want, but they need to be assured that they are being heard. This means that the other party “gets it” in some significant manner. Once that occurs, all becomes possible. Until that happens, words may be exchanged but a meeting of the minds will not take place. In short, if you are involved in a dispute, don’t overlook the opportunity to assure your opponent that you get what they are saying. This will open the door to the search for solutions and Win-Win.