It always seems impossible until it is done.
Shel Stark participated in the ADR Section 2020 Annual Meeting on the topic of "Managing Opening Offers: Are You Really Going to Make Me Communicate That Number?" Advocates criticize mediators when negotiating money who simply communicate numbers back and forth without giving feedback or comment. Shel recommended a different approach. He presented a PowerPoint show describing how a mediator might serve as a negotiation coach when given an unproductive offer to carry to the other side. He then described techniques for assisting participants in crafting constructive proposals to stimulate better and more attractive counter-proposals. The presentation was followed up by an unscripted demonstration of how negotiation coaching might work. Katherine Smith Kennedy, Pinsky Smith Fayette & Kennedy, role played plaintiff's counsel in a sexual harassment case; and Anne Bachle Fifer, mediator and mediation trainer, role played the part of plaintiff. The demonstration was followed by a question and answer session. A link to the segment is available at SBM Connect in the Resources library of the ADR Section.