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Mediation & The Jelly Effect

The Jelly Effect

Why We Don’t Want Jelly With Our AFTERS

My name is Joseph Mulrooney, and I’m a business owner, solicitor, and a mediator. Each of these 3 roles requires different skills, and I draw upon all 3 skill sets to help my clients to resolve all manner of disputes in just one day.

I was recently recommended a book by a colleague. The book is ‘The Jelly Effect: How To Make Your Communication Stick’, and it was a real eye-opener. Its author, Andy Bounds, rips up the established methods used by people to sell, and reshapes the sales process. As with all great books, the information it contains is startlingly simple. I immediately implemented several of Andy’s methods into my own business.

The Jelly Effect

This next bit will be brief, ridiculously so, because you should really read Andy’s book to fully understand his methods. One of the core concepts of the book is that, in order to make successful sales, you should focus your sales pitch on what benefits the customer will receive AFTER buying and using your product or service. Any other information – how long you have traded for, how many employees you have, etc. – is just ‘jelly’; it is irrelevant to your customer, and unhelpful to you.

The Jelly Effect & Mediation

I mentioned earlier that I was a mediator. Whilst reading ‘The Jelly Effect’, I began thinking of the similarities between Andy’s concepts of ‘Jelly’ and ‘AFTERs’, and the mediation process. I want to look at these similarities in a bit more detail….

What is Mediation?

Mediation is a way of resolving any dispute quickly and without going to court. It can also be used to reach a breakthrough in difficult negotiations. During a mediation the mediator uses his skills to help the participants to consider the dispute from a number of perspectives, and to focus on what outcomes they would like to achieve, and how best to agree them. It sounds simple, because it can be.

What is ‘Jelly’?

Andy explains how, when we want to achieve a particular outcome, whether it’s a successful sale or negotiation, we waste time and energy saying too much irrelevant stuff. This is Jelly, and it doesn’t help us to reach our our goals at all. Andy identifies what Jelly is, and how to remove it.

Let’s look at an example of Andy’s Jelly: imagine i’m trying to persuade you of the benefits mediation can have for your business – do you really care what year my company was established in? Do you care what the history of mediation is? This type of information is Jelly. I’m guessing you would much rather hear how mediation can benefit you and your business?

So what does Jelly look like in a mediation? Disputes are usually very emotional. So when participants come into a mediation they will often bring with them their emotions, their issues, and their viewpoints. In terms of finding a solution, raw emotions can act as Jelly. The problem is, Jelly can dominate a mediation process and reduce the chances of success if it isn’t managed properly.

Let’s look at an example of mediation ‘Jelly’: imagine you’re locked in a dispute over a botched house extension. Does it help you to reach a successful settlement if the builder spends the first 2 hours of the mediation explaining his long history of successful jobs, or what year he started trading? Would you rather hear him acknowledge how the problem has left you feeling, and also explain whether there were some difficulties faced during construction?

A skilled mediator will guide the participants through the emotional stage of a dispute where valuable time and energy can be wasted if it isn’t carefully managed. Instead the mediator will focus their attention on exploring potential solutions. In doing so he is effectively suggesting that both participants to ask themselves ‘what position would they like to be left in AFTER the dispute is resolved?’

Now Let’s Focus On AFTERs

In The Jelly Effect Andy explains how, to make a successful sale, you should focus your efforts on explaining how your services or products can help the other person AFTER you’ve supplied them. This is remarkably similar to how a mediation can work.

Let’s look at an example of Andy’s AFTERs: if I was still trying to persuade you of the benefits of mediation, I would be better served spending most of my time with you explaining how mediation in the UK has a success rate of over 80%; that you decide what the solution will look like; that it usually lasts for less than 1 day; and that it is entirely confidential. This is useful for you to know. I’d wager that this information would be much more appealing to you than being told that I set up my company were based in Bromborough for 6 years, or that we also specialise in dispute resolution?

Let’s look at an example of mediation ‘AFTERs’: imagine you have agreed to attend mediation for the botched house extension. You can choose to spend the day talking only about the terrible job the builder did, and how it ruined your summer, and how everybody is telling you to take the matter to court. But this is all Jelly – is it really helping you to resolve the dispute? You would be much better off focussing on finding a solution that is agreeable to you and acceptable to the builder. To do that, you will be focusing on what you can both accept should happen AFTER the mediation.

No Jelly, Just AFTERS

So, if you find yourself trying to resolve a dispute via mediation, it is better not to focus on the irrelevant and unhelpful information, but to instead focus on what you want to happen AFTERwards. Do this and I’m confident that you’ll find that you will reap the benefits.

Final Thought

I believe Andy Bounds would likely make a very good mediator. If you haven’t yet, you should read The Jelly Effect.

Posted in Articles, General mediation

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Did you know?

Workplace disputes will affect profitability and performance. Use mediation to resolve disputes swiftly.

The longer a dispute continues in the workplace, the more dramatic the effect on those working in or around it.

Conflict between employees can spread throughout the workforce, affecting morale and performance, if untreated.

A 2008 CIPD survey found that 51% of respondents use an external mediator to resolve people problems and conflict.

A 2008 CIPD survey found that 75% of mediations were initiated by HR departments.

If you express your anger you will start an argument; if you explain your anger you will start a discussion.

In 2016 mediation will have saved UK businesses £3 billion in wasted management time & productivity, damaged relationships, & legal fees.

Ignoring ‘mega-cases’ the total value of mediated disputes in the UK each year is £11.5 billion.

Since 1990, the total value of mediated cases in England & Wales is £110 billion.

CEO of regional Charity – “We have had cause to use Mediatelegal recently and I was delighted with their service. the mediator was patient during a very emotional and somewhat difficult situation but handled it beautifully. We saved a significant amount of money and would highly recommend this organisation to anyone wishing to avoid costly legal bills.”

Linda Lavery, The HR Dept: “I cannot recommend them highly enough. They were brought in to resolve a complex dispute which had continued for months with no resolution. The process was managed from start to finish by Mediatelegal and with their expertise and impartiality, the conflict was resolved amicably for all parties in just 1 day. The management time and money that has been saved is incalculable.”

According to the CEDR 2018 audit, 89% of mediations settle successfully on the day or shortly afterwards.

You are entitled to recover certain expenses incurred when attending a SEND mediation session.

An individual might potentially require an Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP until they reach the age of 25.

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