28 06, 2019

May I Talk to the Other Party ?

By |2019-06-28T10:02:06-08:00June 28th, 2019|Actual Mediations|0 Comments

I have said this before and will say it again: talking to the other party does wonders. After mediating more than 2,000 cases, I am still at a loss to understand why parties in litigation are afraid to sit down with each other and discuss the issues directly. ( I know the lawyers do not [...]

24 07, 2015

The Words We Use

By |2017-05-13T07:45:06-08:00July 24th, 2015|Negotiation Strategy, Research|0 Comments

As a mediator, I have learned to choose my words carefully. The way I phrase something will make all the difference in the world between gaining someone’s trust and angering them. The importance of wording is brought home by Kenneth Cloke in his book, The Dance of Opposites (Goodmedia Press, 2013). His first chapter entitled “The [...]

31 10, 2014

If it Works for the NYPD, it should work for everyone!

By |2017-05-13T07:47:14-08:00October 31st, 2014|Research|Comments Off on If it Works for the NYPD, it should work for everyone!

Once again, the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School published an interesting article. This time it is about the "rules" that the New York City Police Hostage Negotiators live by to defuse the very stressful crises with which they deal almost daily. What strikes me about the "rules" is that they are quite simple [...]

21 06, 2013

Setting Your Own Course in Mediation

By |2017-05-13T07:31:37-08:00June 21st, 2013|Mediations|Comments Off on Setting Your Own Course in Mediation

Recently, I conducted a mediation during which the matter did not settle. However, after the mediation session was over, the parties continued to negotiate- trading monetary demands and offers back and forth. It was a credit reporting case in which plaintiff alleged and defendant denied that an alleged credit transaction had been reported erroneously to [...]

27 04, 2012

Its All In The Delivery

By |2017-05-13T07:35:27-08:00April 27th, 2012|Negotiation Strategy|Comments Off on Its All In The Delivery

One of the major tools in a mediator's toolbox is "persuasion." Either through training, experience and/or intuition, a mediator learns tactics that can be used to "persuade" a party to compromise and settle a dispute. My friend and colleague, Maria Simpson Ph.D., defines "persuasion" as ". . .helping people agree with us through the use [...]

13 04, 2012


By |2017-05-13T07:35:30-08:00April 13th, 2012|Research|Comments Off on Humor

If you have ever mediated a case with me (and most of you have not), you know that I crack jokes, especially in the opening joint session. There is a method to my madness; to take the tension out of the situation and try to put the parties at ease. I also let myself get [...]

2 12, 2011

Those Pesky Little Words

By |2017-05-13T07:36:48-08:00December 2nd, 2011|Negotiation Strategy|Comments Off on Those Pesky Little Words

In her Two Minute Training Tip for November 1, 2011, my colleague, Maria Simpson, Ph.D. looks at the words we use when we communicate. She points out that to be an effective negotiator - one must be careful of the pronouns she uses. "You" in any form - "you", "your" - is accusatory and personalizes [...]