Thursday, May 14, 2009


Nobody likes to be pressured into an agreement; whether it is at twelve noon or twelve midnight. If one of the parties is not one-hundred percent sure, then I suggest that they "sleep on it."

For example, if our mediation concludes on Thursday, I will contact them on Monday to hopefully finalize the settlement. It is important that the agreement is "custom-tailored" and not something "off-the-rack." It is amazing the analysis that goes on whether it is waiting for the light to turn green on Wilshire Boulevard, or as you linger near the frozen edaname in Trader Joe's. This, in turn with talking with the parties counsel, can make for a lasting agreement when I make contact again on the agreed upon day and time.

There are different schools of thought on whether if it doesn't settle during that day that things will unravel. I would rather avoid having one or both of the parties to come down with a bad case of buyer's remorse.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I Have Two Words For You!... "THANK YOU!"

At the end of a mediation, whether the length was three-hours, the entire day, or even into the night, when those words flow out of the party's mouths, it means the world to me.

Once everyone is in the room and the session begins, my desire is to keep the dialog flowing and letting the "magic" unfold.

Finally, after the coffee has tuned into something that probably requires an octane rating and your dry board looks like an aerial Google photo, the agreement gets drawn up and signed by everyone.

I don't expect the party's to always be happy with each other, but if they are happy with the process and thank me for "sticking with it", like the credit card commercial says: "Getting a satisfactory settlement - PRICELESS

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Schmooze To Go With That Schmear?

Sometimes I have noticed that initial aggressions dissipate with the cut of a knife... through a bagel and thankfully nowhere else! Food can be one of a mediator's most powerful tools he or she can bring into the session. Sometimes a bagel and cream cheese and some nectar from the morning Gods, can move the parties towards a path of resolution.

When the parties are in a rush to make it on time to the conference, breakfast is usually forgone and that gnawing feeling from their dispute is now intensified with an additional hunger pang.

Becoming a believer in being a bearer of bagels, (I can't say that three times fast!), I feel this actually enhances whichever discipline of mediation you practice. Now that everyone is fully fueled, the proceedings can take place.

Impass? No, pass the plate and reformulate!

Just some simple "food for thought!"

Monday, February 19, 2007

"Where It All Began"

I think back to the "defining" event that set me on my course to make the world a better place through mediation.

When I was a public school student in New York City several ice ages ago, we had a paralyzing transit strike. It was strange not to hear the melodic screeching of the subway cars metal wheels as they pulled into the station or the garbled voice of the conductor announcing which stop it was and for all to "keep your hands off the closing doors." Some of my friends older siblings were gleeful as it meant no real tangible way to travel into work or attend high schools or college.

One evening before all the newscasts were of "happy" content, I heard about a man who was working behind the scenes to get things moving in New York City again. His name was Theodore Kheel and amongst other hats that he effortlessly wore, was one of being a mediator.

Subsequently, a few days and trainless nights went by and a settlement was reached. The next morning mass transit gradually replaced the "mess" transit that the hardy New Yorkers were putting up with. This man and this action ingrained a lasting impression in me and if I can take the baton of bargaining and bring it to the finish line in the competition of life, I will feel that my efforts too will be validated!