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Preserving Business Relationships During the Coronavirus Crisis

These are indeed crazy times as we navigate through a maze of financial and physical stresses. Ranse Howell, Director of International Operations at JAMS ADR, correctly points out that “We live in a connected world with intricate networks of supply chain and service relationships and any delay can result in multiple commercial challenges.”

As a mediator, I am often asked, why did it take so many hours to come to an agreement, when it seems it could have been concluded in a few minutes? The quick answer is because it often takes time for people to understand where the other person is coming from, to digest their point of view, to blow off steam and to come to grips with alternative options and possibilities.

Just recently the screen to my mobile phone broke and I went to a company that handles these kinds of repairs. After a week I received a call informing me that the part was now back-ordered since it came from China and was subject to the economic chaos caused by the virus. I was initially angry since I had been told the part would be delivered in a few days and now was told maybe three or more weeks. The employee at the store patiently explained the problem, what they were trying to do, and what to possibly anticipate. I began to realize that I wasn’t the only one frustrated. After all, their business was suffering from a huge number of delayed deliveries, not just mine. I calmed down and my anger towards their business relaxed thereby preserving the business relationship.

For any of your mediation questions, feel free to Contact me.


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