Power in Negotiation

Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying that “Necessity never made a good bargain!” In his wonderful book, Practical Negotiating, Tom Gosselin contends that “In negotiating, power is a function of alternatives.”   Gosselin is right, of course, and hopefully a discussion of alternatives brings to mind Ury & Fisher’s BATNA (Best Alternative to  a Negotiated … Read more

Guided Choice Mediation: Nuts and Bolts

This post is part of our Guided Choice Mediation series, where we explore what it is, why it improves on traditional mediation, and how it works. Guided Choice Mediation is an evolving process that expands and builds on more common place facilitated settlement conferences.  Even a cursory review of Guided Choice principles demonstrates its potential to facilitate early resolution … Read more

Exciting New Alternatives for Claims Resolution

Resolving commercial and construction disputes is expensive. According to one source, 98% of commercial disputes are resolved prior to trial or arbitration. However, most are not resolved until the parties have spent an enormous amount of time, energy, and money on discovery and motions. Even worse, the parties are usually unable to continue a working … Read more

The Mediator’s Role In Positional Bargaining – Part 1

In spite of an acknowledged preference for interest-based “principled” negotiation, I acknowledged in my previous post that every civil mediation eventually becomes a positional battle.  This is largely because virtually every civil litigation is resolved based upon an exchange of money and litigation combatants are rarely seeking to preserve a long-term relationship after resolution. If, … Read more

Is Positional Bargaining Unavoidable?

One of the primary tenets of Roger Fisher and William Ury’s book “Getting to Yes” is that negotiations should focus on interests not positions, i.e., avoid positional bargaining.  Positional bargaining takes place when each side takes a position, argues for that position, and reluctantly makes concessions from the opening position.  Fisher & Ury instead contend … Read more