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New research by Francesca Gino and Ting Zhang of Columbia Business School, along with Mike Norton of Harvard Business School, suggests that the most effective mediation style might be being partial against both parties. The academics suggest that, contrary to the received wisdom that mediators should be neutral, attentive and empathetic, an actively hostile mediator is more likely to get a good result. They discovered that a mediator’s antagonistic and hostile treatment of both parties causes adversaries to unite against the mediator, which in turn increases the parties’ willingness and propensity to reach agreement.


Source: JAMS ADR