4 Roles Played by Third Party in Negotiation

Third party negotiation is very common. Actually in my experience in any dispute local or international, it’s the third party who actually makes sense to the disputants for reaching a settlement. Most recent international example will be the Syria and Myanmar situation and Kofi Annan.

4 Roles played by Third Party in Negotiation Process

It not always the case that direct negotiations of individuals or groups will agree on a stalemate and resolve all their differences. In such cases, they may turn to a third party who will be in no way affiliated with them to help them find a solution.

Not always that they succeed and not always that they are credited and remembered for their contribution. But their failure is most times received with huge criticism but we forget that all they can do is act as a link and persuade the disputants.

In business world we see that Third party negotiation is very common. Labor disputes, patent and trade mark violation are the common examples.

There are four basic third party roles that a third party could play in a conflict negotiation. In this post we will see what kind of roles the third party plays in a negotiation process.

Mediator in Third Party in Negotiation

Mediator and Mediation of Third Party in Negotiation

Mediator is a neutral third party, whose job is to facilitate a negotiated solution by reasoning and persuasion, suggesting alternatives to the involved parties. Mediators are common in labor-management conflicts and in civil court disputes.

Arbitrator in Third Party in Negotiation

Arbitrator and Arbitration of Third Party in Negotiation

Arbitrator is a third party who has the authority for dictating an agreement between the parties. Arbitration in a negotiation can be requested by the parties or can be compulsorily enforced on the parties by court or contract. The big advantage of arbitration over mediation is that it always results in a settlement.

Whether or not there is a negative side depends on how “heavy handed” the arbitrator appears. If one party is left feeling overwhelmingly defeated, that party is certain to be dissatisfied and unlikely to cordially accept the arbitrator’s decision.

For that reason, the conflict may re-materialize at a later time. The authority of the arbitrator varies according to the rules set by the negotiators or the court law.

Conciliator in Third Party in Negotiation

Conciliator is a trusted third party whose job is to establish an informal communication link between the negotiator and the opponent. Conciliation is used widely in international, labor, family and community disputes. In practice, conciliators usually act as more than mere communication conduits.

They also engage in fact finding, interpreting messages and persuading disputants to reach an agreement. Comparing its effectiveness to mediation has proven difficult because the two overlap a great deal.

Consultant in Third Party in Negotiation

Consultant is a skilled and impartial third party who attempts to facilitate problem solving through communication and analysis. Consultant is most likely to have much knowledge of conflict management.

The consultant’s role is not only to settle the issues but also to improve relations between the conflicting parties so that they can reach a settlement themselves.

Instead of putting forward specific solutions, the consultant tries to encourage the parties to learn, understand and work with each other.

And so, this approach has a longer term focus by building a new and positive perceptions and attitudes between the conflicting parties.