Danny Gelb
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How to Negotiate at a MBIE Mediation

 

This actually applies to any negotiation. The question to ask yourself when you make, or are made, any offer at a negotiation is:

 

"How does this offer compare to my fall back position or my plan B?"

 

Let's park the bus on that statement for a moment as we need to understand what a fall back position or a plan B is. Your fall back position is what you intend to do if you can't come to an agreement with the person you are negotiating with.

 

A simple example of this could be: you are wanting to buy a 2007 Toyota hatchback. The dealer you have just been to has said that you can buy his one for $7,000. You are now at another dealer looking at a very similar car that they are wanting $8,000 for. You, being a good negotiator, offer him $6,000. The dealer comes back and says you can have it for $7,500. Should you agree to his offer? Of course not, because your fall back position is that you can go and buy the other car for $7,000. You are negotiating from a position of strength.

 

Likewise, you have just got off the subway at the wrong stop in downtown Los Angeles. Its dark, you are lost and some very polite person approaches you with a gun asking you for your wallet, watch and IPhone. Should you agree to his request? More than likely, yes, as your fall back position is that, if you don't agree, you will probably end up similar to Swiss cheese (full of holes). You are negotiating from a very weak position.

 

Back to our MBIE mediation. The employer has just offered you $4,000 to settle. Do you take it or not? Being the now wise negotiator, it's time for you to assess your fall back position. If this was to go to the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) what are they likely to award you, taking into account how strong your case is legally (not morally or emotionally as they do not rule on morals or emotions)? What are the risks of your case? What are your strengths and weaknesses? How much employee contribution are they likely to find against you and what will that translate into, by way of dollars? How long will it take to get through this process? How reliable will your witnesses be and will you come across as credible on the day?

 

Unless you have a good grasp on these matters, you are negotiating somewhat blind as you will not know what your fall back position is. The issue is that, once the mediation is over and you are in the ERA process, it is then too late to wind the clock back to the offer that was previously on the table.

 

So, all items considered, how do you best negotiate at an MBIE mediation? You take a representative with you, such as myself, that can help you assess your fall back position so that you can make the best decision at the time. Want to know more? Call Danny for an obligation free chat on 0800 HELP ME (0800 435 763) or email me.

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