Negotiation/Martin Rosenfeld, JD

Posted on October 18, 2015


The late diplomat, Richard Holbrooke, once compared negotiation to jazz. Jazz is, in effect, a musical improvisation. In a negotiation the parties know where they want to go, but they don’t know how to get there. How then does one get to a successful resolution of issues when they don’t know how to get there. I am not sure if the answer is that this is accomplished by improvisation. More likely, the resolution will come about when the parties learn to listen as much, or more, than they talk. It will be reached by respecting the right of the other party to have opinions or wishes that differ from your own. Resolution will be reached when the parties realize how there is a certain intersection of needs and goals. It will be enhanced by a trained mediator who gets the parties to accomplish what they need to get to Win-Win. In short, “mediate don’t litigate is a good formula for success when you know what you want but you are not sure how to get there.