podcast image

Podcast

Episode 139: How To Handle Business-Related Conflict Before & After It Arises with Damali Peterman

Jun 03, 2021

In today’s episode, we meet Damali Peterman, attorney and CEO of Breakthrough ADR, a firm that teaches people how to listen, negotiate and resolve conflict in the workplace and beyond. After seeing too many unnecessary and avoidable conflicts arise with clients, Damali decided to provide a service that empowers business owners with tools and techniques to manage conflicts with their partners before they ever need to seek an attorney’s help.

During our conversation, we talk about all things business partnerships, including how to set up the proper legal protections before you start a new business relationship. Damali gives insightful advice on mitigating an impasse on decisions, the best communication techniques to de-escalate conflict, and how we can all learn to listen more effectively. 

Listen on Apple Podcast

You’ll learn:

  • DIY alternatives for partnership agreements when you’re new to business
  • The key points every partnership agreement should contain to 
  • The leading causes behind partnership conflicts
  • How to approach dissolution of a business partnership
  • Why mediation and arbitration are essential dispute resolution mechanisms

Mentioned in this episode:

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/damalipeterman/ 
Business Website: breakthroughadr.com/ 

Ready to Launch Your Business?

Join Our Membership Community

The She’s Off Script podcast has a membership community to help you launch and grow your business with resources, coaching, and collaboration with other founders. Join our Boss Off Script community today by going to serwaaadjeipelle.com/community


Episode Transcript

Damali Peterman

Oftentimes I tell people that you know, again, a partnership, a business partnership is not unlike a romantic partnership, a romantic relationship. You're going to learn things about your partner, you're going to understand what makes them tick. You're going to understand what gets them excited about a particular concept

Damali Peterman

and when people are most committed and engaged to

Damali Peterman

an idea or business is when they feel like they're bringing their strengths to the table.

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

Mhm

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

Hi, Off-Scripters it's your host, Serwaa Adjei-Pellé and welcome to episode 1 39 of the She's Off Script podcast. This is a show where we hear and learn from women who have created unique blueprints for their business success. My hope is that you'll hear their stories and translate their dreams into a unique path for yourself.

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

In today's episode, we meet Damali Peterman, who is an attorney, mediator and CEO of conflict resolution firm, Breakthrough, ADR.

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

In our last episode, Tiffini Gatlin shared a little of her experience with being forced to sell her first multi-million dollar company after she fell out with her co-founder This week, I brought in an expert to help us think through business-related conflict before and after it arises whether the conflict is with your co-founder and investor or board member Damali's walking us through the legal protections we should all have in place when starting a new business relationship. She also gives us helpful communication techniques that de-escalate conflict. She offers free mediation resources we can all use and so much more before we hear the rest of Damali's episode. I would love it if you could subscribe, rate and review our show on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts. This will help to spread the word about our show. So amazing stories like Tamales can continue to inspire women

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

looking to launch their own Off-Scripters journeys with that. Let's go off script with attorney and CEO of Breakthrough ADR Damali Peterman,

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

mhm

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

mm

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

Damali Peterman, welcome to She's Off Script Thank you for being here.

Damali Peterman

Say, well, it's wonderful to be here.

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

So for any of our listeners who have not come across you before, could you share who you are and what you do?

Damali Peterman

Certainly, my name is Damali Peterman, I am the CEO and founder of Breakthrough ADR. In Breakthrough ADR, the ADR stands for alternative dispute resolution. And what we do is we teach people how to listen, negotiate and resolve conflict in the workplace and beyond.

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

So as an attorney, how did you come to run your own ADR firm?

Damali Peterman

That's a great question. I saw a lot of conflict arising. I often times you would reach out to me and they would want my assistance with the situation that in my opinion could have been resolved well in advance of having to get a lawyer involved. And so just think about it

Damali Peterman

the last time that you had a conflict, would you have done better with and managed it better if you had the skills and techniques at your fingertips to help you?

Damali Peterman

Or if you had a trusted advisor that you can call on, someone who doesn't know you is not invested in you and the outcome who can give you neutral advice. And so that's what helped me to launch my my firm. And it's been wonderful helping people navigate conflict and also empowering them with tools and techniques to help them

Damali Peterman

manage it without me. And I hope

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

we can get some of those tools and skills out of you today, because my hope is that people will listen and get some of these skills before they need to seek an attorney's help formerly for a partnership. So I do know just from

Damali Peterman

speaking to people when they're starting new

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

businesses.

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

Their first instinct is to find a partner

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

for a plethora of reasons, but

Damali Peterman

oftentimes

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

that partner is going to be a friend or family member, someone close to them, someone that they know have you worked with friends and family

Damali Peterman

before

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

and just from a professional and personal perspective, what is your opinion on going that route?

Damali Peterman

That's an excellent question. Well, it's interesting because oftentimes when you're just starting up, you have to somewhat rely on the kindness of people in your inner circle. Typically a lot of companies start up with little to no capital. And so oftentimes, you know, even though we have an economy where people can hire folks on various platforms for

Damali Peterman

short to medium term engagement.

Damali Peterman

Oftentimes it's the sister. The brother. The cousin, the best friend you can rely on and depend on to kind of help you launch your vision. And so to answer your question yes, I have worked with people that I knew, I have worked with family and it has of course its advantages as we kind of discuss and its disadvantages,

Damali Peterman

I think an advantage is the person who is related to, you may understand, you know how you work, have a good idea of what your vision is and what you want to accomplish more so than someone who may not be S.E.O mary with you on a very personal level disadvantage is that when you cross and mix rather business, you know with, you know, people always say business with pleasure, but when you cross business with family it can have its ups and downs right, because now you're connected in various ways. Oftentimes the people are working with people who they know they don't put in place some of the protections that I would advise anyone to put into place when you're starting out a new relationship, a new business relationship. So making sure that

Damali Peterman

if you have someone who's helping you as an independent contractor, that is clear what the independent contractor relationship entails, that things are very spelled out with respect to compensation, respect to ideas and technology, respected proprietary rights for intellectual property, etcetera. Because

Damali Peterman

when everything is great, say, well, everything is great. But when things go sour, that's when you need to have these things in place so that people know what to do if there is an issue.

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

So often times, as you mentioned, when you're first starting a business, you're not making a lot of money. So what is

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

a good alternative for people who may want to go the D. I. Y. Route for getting some of the protections in place that you mentioned.

Damali Peterman

So there, you know, as far as do it yourself, I have to be very honest with you. I don't love well, let me say it this way, there are a lot of benefits to having you said D. I. Y. Or do it yourself. You know, contracts and forms. There are a lot of

Damali Peterman

internet resources

Damali Peterman

available to help people. I don't love that. As a blanket answer to any, as a blanket solution to anyone looking for legal advice because there are a lot of nuances to what people are doing that you can't really get from a plain vanilla contractor form. Right? And so and

Damali Peterman

if you don't have a legal background, you have to know the questions to ask to understand whether it's appropriately exactly. The form is only going to work based on the information that you provide. Whether you talk to someone on the phone as a consultation or you just google whatever you're googling to access that document. So, you know, for people who are just starting out, you know, depending on what it is. So if you're trying to foreign form a business entity,

Damali Peterman

every stage will have a process that's rather user friendly for you to to to decide whether you want to form an LLC or a partnership or L. O. P. Whatever it is you have in mind, they'll ask you some questions. There's usually guidance on the stage website, but

Damali Peterman

every state website that I've seen that gives us guidance, always tells you to consult with a lawyer, right? There may be more to the scenario, but as far as those protections you're talking about for do it yourself if you're working with a partner, some of the things you want to think about when you're protecting yourself is one,

Damali Peterman

you know, if you don't have a lot of capital up front,

Damali Peterman

how are you paying the person? Are you paying them on a recurring basis? Are you paying them with some equity? Right. So are you deciding you want to allocate a certain amount of equity in your company to this person? Do you want to pay them for milestone achievements? So just thinking about what you want to do and then that will help you to identify the appropriate document that you need. If you're trying to do it yourself.

Damali Peterman

But, you know, some people say, oh, can we just have a handshake deal? It depends, Right? And some states, which I'll call jurisdictions, you know, oral agreements are not enforceable unless they reach a certain threshold amount. And some states, that doesn't matter as long as you can prove offer acceptance and consideration,

Damali Peterman

consideration. Just another way to say payment,

Damali Peterman

Right, And what is this person getting in return for a service or product they're providing? So how

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

soon is too soon to be thinking about a partnership agreement? And if we do decide that we're going to go to an attorney to establish that agreement, how much can we expect to have to pay for

Damali Peterman

it?

Damali Peterman

Well, that's a great question. I think it really depends on a lot of things, actually, and you'll hear me say, it depends a lot because there usually isn't a one size fits all answer to every person scenario. Everyone has their own unique set of facts and circumstances. So if you're entering into a partnership agreement, and

Damali Peterman

I should say that I

Damali Peterman

I handle those agreements and I also handle business divorce, right? Some people are breaking apart or dissolving their partnership. Talk about the divorce

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

too. Well,

Damali Peterman

what's important about the divorce? The business divorce is that's when you realize people who are, you know, separating are, you know, kind of dissolving their business

Damali Peterman

things that they want to put into the next agreements. That's what you can learn a lot about what you need, based on what you didn't have when you go through the solution. So with respect to when is the right time to enter into a partnership agreement ba I always think that before the documentation is solidified. You want to have a conversation with your potential partner with this perspective person you want to talk about more than just division while things are good. You want to then consider, you know, you know, what do we do? How do we make decisions? Maybe partner A. Had the initial initial idea of a partner. B has the context or the connections or the relationships necessary to make the business take off. So you always want to iron out things like that when things are good. So how are we going to get business?

Damali Peterman

How are we going to, you know, split costs, right. Because usually up front, you have to think about capital going in.

Damali Peterman

Sometimes I see partnerships where one person is doing all the work, but the other person to providing all the capital, you know, what is way more and how when should it be reevaluated? So you can know, you know, if things should change because sometimes things start off one way and no one has ever re evaluated the relationship to see if they should make

Damali Peterman

any alterations to how the partnership is working.

Damali Peterman

So I don't think there's a to answer your question.

Damali Peterman

It's too soon enter into an agreement. You can always amend an agreement. You can always make changes based on real time, you know, situations. So I think in the beginning, even having something before you talk to a lawyer that says this is what we want to do. You know, this person is going to be the CEOs, which is going to be the CFO or whatever. Just putting that as an example,

Damali Peterman

we want to have equal voting power, we want to share, you know, the capital dis distributions, we want to do X, Y and Z. We want to start this type of, because you can also have a partnership that's not a legal partnership, meaning a legal entity formed as a

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

partnership. You

Damali Peterman

can have a partnership, but you're, you have a limited liability company as a legal entity type.

Damali Peterman

So there are a lot of ways you can do it, but unless you already know these things, then you want to kind of take the ideas that you have to an attorney and the attorney kind of ask you some questions to figure out if one is better and then you want to talk to an accountant because you want someone to tell you what the tax benefits are of certain types of

Damali Peterman

legal entities and different jurisdictions depending on where you are. So what if the person you want to enter into a partnership with is in California and the other person is in texas? Is there a benefit to one state over the other? Should you go to a neutral state like Delaware? So there are a lot of things that consider, but it's never too soon to talk to someone. What I often feel bad for people as they do a lot of work on their own and then they get a lawyer involved and the lawyer says, and that's the lawyer says, oh what about this? And they're like that we didn't we didn't research that, but that's because you can only research what, you know exactly what google what you know. And that's the

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

thing is you try to be the jack of all trades when you're first starting your business. Unfortunately you didn't go to law school, you're not an attorney, so they're bound to be some holes in whatever work you do on your own. So if you do go to an attorney,

Damali Peterman

how much should you

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

budget for that expense?

Damali Peterman

I think it really depends on, you know, the type of attorney, you know, sometimes people go to the wrong type of attorney that they might say, oh I know someone who is an attorney, let's ask him. And that that attorney, maybe an attorney that focuses on wills, trusts and estates and when he is someone who is more familiar with corporations, business transactions, business formations, things of that nature. And so it depends on the jurisdiction, it depends on, you know, what you're bringing to the table. You maybe you've already done the groundwork, you figured out what your state requires, you've determined you want an LLC because maybe you have one before and you're saying, you know, I want you to form an LLC, I want you to do this.

Damali Peterman

Here's the information here. The initial directors, here's what you need,

Damali Peterman

here's the filing fee. So it just really, it really depends because oftentimes people need more than just the initial formation, they may need some initial contracts. So I always tell people to budget anywhere from, you know, Again depending on your jurisdiction. In some states, you know people may charge more or less depending on where they are in their career

Damali Peterman

But anywhere from I don't know 500 to

Damali Peterman

$2,000 to $5,000 depending because some some attorneys also asked for a retainer up front and so they bill against the retainer they may think it will take five hours to do something and they may ask for a certain amount up front and then instead of building you directly they'll build it against the retainer.

Damali Peterman

So they're just different ways to think about it and it depends on the state because some states again

Damali Peterman

it just depends on the state to

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

while you're going through the list of things to think about including within your partnership agreement. You mentioned a few things I want to delve into. So for starters you mentioned having equal voting rights within the company. Is that a good way to go because I feel like

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

there's no tie breaker. How do you manage a tie breaker? If there is an impasse and you can't agree

Damali Peterman

that is an excellent question. And we should also broaden the scope of defining partnership as being, you know, more than two people, right? So you potentially have three or four or five people who want to get together and that could still be a partnership.

Damali Peterman

And so in this scenario where you have two people and you want to have equal voting rights then sometimes you have there's no majority, there's no tie breaker and if you have in past what do you do? And so you have to put in place some mechanism to address and fast.

Damali Peterman

So do you do you go to mediation right. Do you have someone to help you meeting? Meeting?

Damali Peterman

Do you put it on the back runner until you can have, you know, kind of full consensus on the scenario. So there are a lot of ways that you can you can work it out. Oftentimes there will be certain things that require kind of unanimous vote.

Damali Peterman

So if you want to buy property or enter into certain leases or if you want to pursue an opportunity that crosses a certain threshold, then that you may want unions to consent on? Rather sometimes partners may have different specialties. Right? So someone maybe, you know, kind of like the Ceo some might be the CFO or the CEO. And so certain things are going to fall into their kind of different categories and different decision makers may have different insight based on their expertise. So, would you,

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

for example, if you are the CFO, could you craft the partnership agreement in a way that if this is a money related decision that needs to be made, maybe the CFO has like more voting rights or their vote counts for more. Is that one way you've seen people

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

divvy it up?

Damali Peterman

Yeah, I mean I have seen certain transactions require so you may. So for example, if there's just two people in the beginning, usually that's you know, pretty straightforward right? Like people can say, you know, we're not going to do this, so we are going to do this. And if they have a situation where they aren't seeing eye to eye, then they may consider, you know, either not pursuing the opportunity

Damali Peterman

or maybe they aren't the right partners just like in any relationship of business relationship can have its ups and downs and sometimes we realized that they aren't the right partners for whatever reason, that's how we get to the business divorce. But I have seen exactly that were, you know, usually it's the cfl's responsibility to present the situation and then to get, you know, input back from the other members of

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

partnership.

Damali Peterman

Sometimes, even if you have more people isn't often make it, you know easier because maybe three people or may decide one way and one person is feeling left out, but that's what you're voting, you know, is for some things require a supermajority. So instead of just 51%.

Damali Peterman

So if you have more than two people, you may require 66% of people to vote yes for something. So you can put in place different mechanisms. The beauty of contracts is oftentimes people are like, Oh, it's in the contract, I can't change it. If things aren't working right, you should revisit the terms, you should have all the parties who have signed the agreement to amend it.

Damali Peterman

That's why you see, you know,

Damali Peterman

Third Amendment to the partnership agreement, Fifth Amendment, you know, at some point, you know, just keep amending the terms. But in the beginning, just a couple of people, you know, it's really important that the parties communicate so that they can understand that what's going on, they can make decisions together possible. And if they can't and it's something that's very important and perhaps crucial to the

Damali Peterman

the business, it's time to sort of re evaluate whether this is the right business part.

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

Just from what you've been saying, I get the sense that a good percentage of business partnerships also end in divorce, just like the marriage divorce rate is kind of teetering over 50% now.

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

So in your experience, what have been the main causes for partnerships to dissolve

Damali Peterman

A few things? one, the vision changes, right? So maybe you start off with one vision and let's say demand is completely different than what you thought. So,

Damali Peterman

so say for example, if there's an organization partners that want to start a catering business is throwing that out there as an example, and initially they wanted to, you know, make lunches, dinners and desserts and they went out there, they were gonna go about it super excited. And then everyone decided that they really, you know, the lunches and dinners were five, but they really wanted was, you know, ice cream, like their ice cream was like the best thing ever. And so now you have a situation where you have to

Damali Peterman

decide if you're going to see the market and follow the demand or if you're going to keep doing what you want to do, What I also see happen is people, once they start, there's an imbalance in performance. And so people often say, I do all the work

Damali Peterman

and this person only does X or only does why or if there's uh under appreciation involved where someone feels as if they're not being appreciated or valued and the partners capital can also kill a relationship if there's no access to capital, if the capital is depleted and you have to try to get funding for it or if you're self funding and you know there there it feels like there's an imbalance and also

Damali Peterman

things change. People change. Life happens. I mean sometimes people are like, you know, we started this five years ago and five years ago I was this person and now today five years later the same person. Yeah, that happens

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

now. I know one of your specialties is

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

helping people learn how to communicate effectively and then also learning how to listen.

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

So what are some of those communication skills that we can adopt early on in our business partnerships that can help us, you know,

Damali Peterman

steer the ship away

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

from divorce. In our partnerships,

Damali Peterman

we'll think about listening and I'm happy that you introduced that idea

Damali Peterman

because a lot of things can be thwarted with proper pathways taken at the beginning,

Damali Peterman

having a way to recognize that you're not always going to agree and having a mechanism or process in place to address it when it happens so that it comes across in a constructive way and that it can be received in the way that was ended instead of having a different impact. So we're listening, you know,

Damali Peterman

a lot of people listen on autopilot and most people listen while processing what they want to say or looking for commonalities, et cetera. And so when I'm teaching active listening, I want people to really focus on listening to understand where a person is coming from and

Damali Peterman

doing that by letting that person lead them to where they want to go, as opposed to

Damali Peterman

asking all these questions or are showing when you understand. Also, for example, when people are having a conversation more often than not, say, someone says I love Sunshine, the person who's listening, if they love Sunshine too,

Damali Peterman

they're likely to say I love so should I do right? Like isn't something great like the Sun is amazing. What if you can't relate, what if you prefer a nighttime? Now you have a situation where someone's talking and you're not fully connected because they are, you know, you're not seeing eye to eye on what they're saying, and I'm using a very simple hypothetical, but

Damali Peterman

the way this works in a business relationship, especially to do some of the things you're talking about, which is setting up something in place so that you can kind of avoid business divorce is

Damali Peterman

you have to listen with whether you understand or don't understand whether you relate or can't relate. Whether you can sympathize or empathize or not. What you want to train yourself to do is to listen and to kind of see where a person is going by asking, you know, kind of repeating a little bit of what you hear them saying, which shows them that you're connected to them

Damali Peterman

and then asking them open into questions to kind of see where they're going, right? So sort of you leading them somewhere or taking control of the conversation by saying you

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

like a son of a sent you

Damali Peterman

yesterday when the sun rose. I was thinking, oh, it's a great day to go for a while. And then all of a sudden you hijacked the conversation, How this works with business. Is that oftentimes somebody, someone might say,

Damali Peterman

you know, I had this great idea to do X, y and Z. Now, what if you had a similar or the same idea? You know, then you want to take over the conversation to kind of show that? Well, I always tell people to pause, pausing allows you to slow things down. It gives your brain a chance to re engage and use executive function. So diving a little bit into the neuroscience

Damali Peterman

so that you can make a cool, calm decision often when you're in conflict or even if you have adrenaline pumping because you're excited about something, things are sped up. Things are going really quickly. Mirror neurons. You know, people are like doing kind of giving you the energy that you're getting right. So you're kind of

Damali Peterman

doing things together like this and then I say like this, you know, kind of like mirroring each other so you know, someone's excited, you get excited, it's kind of going that way. And so for when you want to bring this back to listening, sometimes you have to take a moment, slow things down, Remember that, you know, you're supposed to be actively listening. You want to capture something that the person said repeated back to them and then ask them an open ended question as opposed to hijacking the conversation. And that way you may learn more things about your business partner. Oftentimes I tell people that, you know, again, a partnership, a business partnership is not unlike a romantic partnership, a romantic relationship, you're going to learn things about your partner,

Damali Peterman

you're going to understand what makes them tick.

Damali Peterman

You're going to understand what gets them excited about a particular concept. And when people are most committed and engaged to an idea or business is when they feel like they're bringing their strengths to the table. Right? And so what's key is to think about if you and your partner have, you know, different strengths

Damali Peterman

and how to use those complementary strengths to help your business grow,

Damali Peterman

because that's where you're going to really see success as if you're doing what you do best

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

agreed, agreed. So you allow each other to feel valued in their area of expertise and flourish. And earlier you had said sometimes under appreciation is something that starts at downward spiral. So if we allow each other to shine in our areas of expertise, hopefully that helps the relationship in the long run. But what if inevitably we do end up in front of you

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

and we do need to dissolve our partnership? What does that

Damali Peterman

look like?

Damali Peterman

Yeah, well, it's different, I mean, there's like the mechanical part of it, right? So whatever jurisdiction you're in, whatever state you're in requires you to do, to dissolve your official legal entity. Oftentimes, when people want to go their separate ways, sometimes they've come to it,

Damali Peterman

you know, and they made peace with it, and sometimes they're still in denial. Sometimes

Damali Peterman

one person wants to do it more than the other parts of your parties, and so part of what you want to do in that situation is, you know, with a person like me who is also a mediator, just kind of think about what the ideal vision is of the outcome, right?

Damali Peterman

So what is it that you really want?

Damali Peterman

And I like to tell people to kind of prepare, you know, and think about that, you know, if it's, you know, this catering business that we're talking about in our hypothetical company and there's equipment, and one party knows that, you know, that they want to continue making cakes and lunches and they need the equipment, then be honest about that, so that you can kind of

Damali Peterman

get something that you want or at least put it forward, so that there's not just in their inside kind of festering, if the other person wants nothing to do with the business or you know, wants to keep the name, because the name of the business is important to them, they're going to start a printing company and they want to use this name, we should talk about it. So the point here is to brainstorm as many ideas as you can here in the situation,

Damali Peterman

think about what you want to think about what you need, and then I'm gonna push you further to think about why,

Damali Peterman

why do you want these things? Because sometimes if you, you know when you're all mediation is is a negotiation with third party there?

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

Absolutely, I was going to mention what you're describing, sounds like your bat now when you're negotiating, right? So you need to have a good idea of what it is you want out of the negotiation,

Damali Peterman

right? Well, bagna bagna is the best alternative. So if you don't reach a negotiated agreement with your best alternative, So if you go to a car dealership to buy a car and you don't get a car during that visit, your best alternative might be to take the subway

Damali Peterman

for the next few weeks until you can make it to another dealership.

Damali Peterman

Whereas in a negotiated agreement, what I want people to think about is okay, why, for example, there? Because you know, your listeners vary across different, different platforms, right? Different types of industries. And so another example is I'm often consulted with people by people who are trying to get a salary advance, right? So

Damali Peterman

To molly, how do I, you know, improve my salary negotiations? I'm going to go in and negotiate or to get this raise to get this deposition. What should I say? And often I say, well, tell me what it is you want. And someone will say, well, I want $5,000 more a year. Okay, excellent. That's what you want. That's your position. You want this. The why

Damali Peterman

is important. Why do you want this?

Damali Peterman

Well, I want to get a new car. I want, you know to do you get daycare for my kid or I want to be able to take a vacation, you know, once a year.

Damali Peterman

The why is important because if you negotiate for a salary increase and you're very limited in what you want, meaning you're just thinking and if they don't save $5,000, I'm out of here. you're not going to be creative to think outside of the box to say, well,

Damali Peterman

the company has company cars like what if, you know, instead of if they can't give me the $5000 they can give me a company car and pay for the insurance. Now, you're looking at different ways to meet your wife to be interest. So I always tell people that's fine, right? Your position down. I always tell them also think about what their zone of possible agreement is. So if it's a number,

Damali Peterman

what is that Zopa zone a possible agreement and write it down. But then right, why you need those things and see if there are other ways to get those things from the person or the entity you're negotiating with.

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

Mm. So it's good to have thought about what you're looking to see come out of your negotiation. So you're not just going round and round when you're mediating but also to go back to what you should include in or you should make sure is inside your partnership agreements. It sounds like we should have a mediation as opposed to going straight to core. Is that something that you can specify?

Damali Peterman

On the one hand? I think the answer is definitely a mediation arbitration is usually a process where so in alternative resolution, you have negotiation where you have two or more parties who are trying to sort something out on their own after that, then you have sort of conciliation or shuttle diplomacy where

Damali Peterman

two parties have someone in the middle who's just going back and forth,

Damali Peterman

like shuttling back and forth health. Then you have mediation where you have a third party who was talking to both parties, He was trying to help the parties come up with their own outcome. So the mediator and the person who was the conciliator kind of facilitating that conversation and the shuttle diplomacy, they don't have any decision making power. They are helping you come to your own decision.

Damali Peterman

Then you move to arbitration where now you have a person, a third party neutral who does have decision making power. So you're the outcome is no longer solely up to you when you are like as it is when you're in mediation or working with someone who is more of a conciliator

Damali Peterman

can arbitration

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

be binding and non

Damali Peterman

binding

Damali Peterman

arbitration can be binding or non inviting depending on the terms you agreed to if you have a contract that's setting forth what you're going to do. So for example, that most people have cell phones. If you look at the fine print in terms of use most, if you have an issue with your cell phone, if you have an issue with the company, you're agreeing to

Damali Peterman

arbitration, you know, you're waiving your right to a jury trial to go into court. And then the last item of, you know,

Damali Peterman

A. D. R. Continuum. It's litigation which people are most familiar with litigation that's popularized on tv. You have all these shows where you have a judge and a jury, you see that happening in the world on the news. So most people are familiar with that. But in that scenario in litigation, it's not

Damali Peterman

people want their day in court, but the day in court may come years after the event happened. Right. So it's usually not the fastest route for resolution. It's usually the most expensive route for resolution and it's usually the city's again, remember someone else, a judge or or bench of judges, multiple judges or a jury is going to determine the outcome

Damali Peterman

of your situation. You have no more self determination. You have no more, you know, agency to decide what happens. So I like people in their agreements to first try mediation. Most cities and states, especially major cities and states have what we call C. D. R. C. S. Community dispute resolution centers

Damali Peterman

where say if you were talking about situation where people are just starting off again, there are people who media and arbitrary big organizations, you maybe they started in court, but most court cases are settled out of court through mediation or arbitration. And so, you know, they're both cities and states have community district resolution sensors that either charged no fee or a nominal fee.

Damali Peterman

Or you can go in and find people who are really qualified to mediate if you have, you know, you want to do it in a different way. There

Damali Peterman

amazing organizations that you can hire a mediator who will help you to resolve your dispute as well.

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

That's good to know.

Damali Peterman

Oh yeah, there are a lot of ways to do it. But I think mediation and arbitration are essential dispute resolution mechanisms because again, it's usually a lot faster, a lot more cost efficient. And you can kind of get to still have especially mediation influence the outcome because you're going to say what you want and what you need and hopefully that will be reflected in any mediated settlement agreement.

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

Got it

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

has a partnership survived a mediation in your

Damali Peterman

experience? Okay, I've seen partnerships survived. I've seen partnerships that didn't reach a mediated agreement, but because they went to the mediation process where they were able to say what they felt, what they thought, and with a mediator or trained mediator,

Damali Peterman

you're going to hear people are in conflict, they're only seeing their perspective, they're very myopic view of things, they're not really three dimensional izing everything that's occurring. And so with the mediator, now, you have a third person, you know, who is not a part of the conflict, who is using mediation techniques and the process to move you along the path to where you can

Damali Peterman

have a better understanding of the conflict, to where you can see the three dimensions of the issue and where you can perhaps see a point, you know, forward. Whereas you've been stuck in the conflict for such a long period of time. So I've seen people who

Damali Peterman

the media went through mediation and didn't reach an agreement, but left talking to each other where they hadn't spoken for years before that I've seen people reach agreement and then have feel like relief, you know, where they are now, we've figured out what to do with this issue that's happening. You know, the company like working for, you know, if they were doing a business divorce, working with the company for the last X. Number of months or years have been tough, but now that we've decided what we're going to do,

Damali Peterman

I feel like a weight has been lifted off of me and now I can, you know,

Damali Peterman

we can go back to being friends again or maybe they just that they want to go their separate ways, There are many possible outcomes, but people just need to be honest with themselves and think about what they need and why they needed. And so

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

now if anyone listening wants to work with you before, during or after a partnership,

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

where can they find you do molly.

Damali Peterman

There are a couple, a lot of ways to find me,

Damali Peterman

The easiest way to find me is on linkedin, you know, at Tamale Peterman and then of course my company is Breakthrough 80 are, that's a as an Apple days in Tamale ours and Resolution. And I also think to just kind of knowing what I what, I hope that your audience is walking away with us knowing that

Damali Peterman

there's so many different ways to resolve a conflict. And you know that you know, it doesn't have to be straight to their ways that you can have someone intervened to help you and it's good to know this because you want to think about again, when things go bad, what do you do?

Serwaa Adjei-Pellé

Absolutely. And you have given us so many alternatives and things and resources to think about as we are approaching partnerships for ourselves and I really appreciate that. Thank you.

Damali Peterman

You're welcome to stay well. Okay, Hi, Off-Scripters I'm so glad you made it to the end of this episode. If you enjoy listening to our show, please pay it forward by sharing us with your network between episodes. You can find me on instagram are handle is at She's Off Script or you can catch up on past episodes at She's Off Script dot com. See you on the next one.

hey there!

I'm Serwaa, your new business strategist.

I’m a digital business strategy expert, headstrong high achiever, mom of two girls and wife to a strapping African man.

Embracing these facets of my life has been the key to breaking through my plateaus!

hey there
steal it

Every Expert Needs a Personal Brand. Not Sure Where To Start?

Steal my playbook! In the age of social media, it’s not enough to expect your product or service to speak for itself. Whether you’re a corporate queen, side hustler or entrepreneur, you need a brand that creates trust with your audience.