Mediation Tips From Former Secretary of State James Baker

Speaking to a group of business negotiators, former Secretary of State James Baker outlined six mediation tips that are helpful for parties, lawyers and mediators alike.

In “Closing the Deal: Six Methods of Negotiations,” Mr. Baker discusses the importance of:

  • Understanding the other side’s position
  • Building trust through personal relationships
  • “Parallel reciprocal confidence building” (breaking down the overall negotiation into a series of smaller steps and building on each success)
  • “Principled pragmatism” (compromising in a manner that does not sacrifice core values)
  • Timing (knowing when to hold and knowing when to fold, etc.)
  • Appreciation and respect for politics

As a wise man is wont to say, read the whole thing.

Hat tip to Austin-based Mediator Paul Von Osselaer.

Rob Daisley