skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 97700 Find in a Library
Title: Communications in Negotiations (From Ethical Issues in Dispute Resolution, P 141-147, 1984, Charlotte Gold, ed. - See NCJ-97691)
Author(s): L Barsky; S Weiss-Wik
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 7
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This workshop summary emphasizes the role of the skillful use of language in successful negotiation, discusses ways that mediators change styles to suit the mediation, and suggests that there are perceivable differences in a mediator's use of language.
Abstract: Workshop participants suggest that people have different verbal styles, that language affects negotiations, and that a good negotiator listens carefully to the other side's language. The pragmatic effects of people's differing perceptions and use of language on negotiation are examined. Three points are highlighted: (1) the negotiation process appears more complicated than many people believe it to be, (2) communication is essential and central to negotiation, and (3) language must be considered as part of communication. The various aspects of language that speakers and listeners in negotiation should consider are addressed, particularly the use of the linguistic mitigator. When negotiators use mitigators -- words, expressions, or grammatical forms that tone down the aggressiveness projected -- they are providing information beyond the substantive content of their statements. The tendency of good mediators to use mitigators in tough spots to reflect concern for the other side and to maintain a continuing dialogue is identified. Also, the consequences of using mitigators are examined: those who use too few tend to be considered blunt and antagonistic; those who use too many are considered mushy. Finally, the usefulness of jokes in the mediation process is reported.
Index Term(s): Alternative dispute settlement; Communications; Mediation; Mediators; Negotiation
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.