Researchers constantly seek to learn more about the trick to being a good leader. According to Dina Krasikova, assistant professor of management at the University of Texas in San Antonio (UTSA), confidence is the key to being a successful and creative leader. This research can also help understand some of the tools necessary to be a good mediator.

“When leaders feel confident that they can produce creative outcomes, their subordinates become more creative,” she said. “It’s that simple. But how do you create that environment in the first place?”  The same holds true for negotiators.  When negotiators are confident in their abilities, and confident in their position, such confidence is visible to the other side also. It can help the other side to alter their position because of the demonstration of confidence in a position.  In fact, many of the most successful negotiators demonstrate their position, in a calm, confident and clear manner.  That attitude in turn is often reflected by the other side.  Many times parties that are not confident demonstrate their lack of confidence by making threats and taking aggressive positions.

Krasikova’s research also found that ineffective leaders tend to increase employees stress and often create unnecessary stress in the work place. According to Krasikova they do this by attacking or humiliating their employees. The same holds true in negotiation, parties who create hostility with the other party or with their own team don’t always get the best results.  Often the other side feels compelled to lash back at the negotiator and will resent the other side, even if the immediate negotiation is over.

What is also interesting is that just as in mediation, the power of positivity is infectious.  Krasikova explained that “leaders can imbue their subordinates with confidence and creativity just by setting an example themselves.” Negotiators can do the same with their opponents and clients.  In mediation, the power of positivity proves itself practically on a daily basis.  Many times, the only thing that keeps the mediation moving forward is positive thinking.

Krasikova also emphasized that other skills are powerful to good leadership.  Many of those skills which are directly applicable to mediation are as follows:

  • Trust, and Professional respect
  • Supportive environment
  • Good communication

Leadership, mediation and negotiation skills are very closely aligned.  It would be worthwhile for negotiators and mediators to study leadership traits more because it can have a direct relationship to being a better negotiator.

Journal Reference and Source:

Lei Huang, Dina V. Krasikova, Dong Liu. I can do it, so can you: The role of leader creative self-efficacy in facilitating follower creativity. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 2016; 132: 49 DOI: 10.1016/j.obhdp.2015.12.002, as cited by Science Daily 29 February 2016. <>.