(Written with Advocate Karleen De Mello, Goa, India) I was recently witness to a mediation session during which two seasoned negotiators behaved disappointingly. Why? On the other side was a negotiator, who walked in with a cane, accompanied by her lawyer. From the outset, these two experienced negotiators behaved very awkwardly at the table, with one…

Early in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1891 short story A Scandal in Bohemia, Sherlock Holmes gives Watson a lecture on the difference between seeing and observing. To test how well Watson understood, Holmes hands him an unaddressed, undated, anonymous letter that had just arrived on the doormat. It announced that an unnamed visitor would shortly…

The old guy smiled. His old Corsican eyes showed some understanding…: “How much do you have?” -“I have a ten euro bill and we are leaving tomorrow…” – “OK, boy, deal…but no receipt, right?” Not understanding the shadow economy at the time, I accepted without knowing why is he not willing to give me a…

On first of January 2019, Jair Bolsonaro became Brazil’s 38th President. After years of economic, political and even a social crisis in Brazil, the right wing politician has the mission of unifying the country after the most polarized elections in our history. Similarly to what is happening in other parts of the world, the new…

Picture: Derek Gavey / Creative Commons A man walks into a bar …… I have to work quickly now because I can visualise readers reaching for the delete button. That’s because my six words have quickly taken you to an already constructed narrative. Before hitting delete there was probably a sigh; an eye roll and…

Online negotiators are often faced with the challenge of how to overcome barriers on communication. When in real life (or better, when in non digital life) body language, voice tone and appearance enrich the communication process giving more tools for both communicators to express and understand the message, therefore making any negotiation more fluid and…

When I first started getting seriously interested in mediation over ten years ago, the thought struck me that ‘Shades of Grey’ might be a good name for an organisation involved in this field. Thankfully, given a subsequent publication and film, I didn’t pursue it any further – although if I’d registered the domain name it…

In the centre of Berlin opposite the State Opera House, there is a large building in Baroque style that was originally built as the Prussian Royal Library in the late eighteenth century, and came to be called the Old Library once the new Prussian State Library was established in the early twentieth century. The words…

Bloomberg (not my usual reading fodder, I confess) carried an interesting piece a couple of months ago, entitled “Meet the Real Force Behind the Brexit Talks”. Yes, it was about Brexit (yawn) but it was about an unseen side of the negotiations. Opening with the line “In every negotiation the most important work is done…