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Secrets of Power Negotiating by Roger Dawson

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Chapter 34The Art of Mediation

As I explained in Chapter 12, there is only one way to resolve a deadlock, and that’s to bring in a third party as a mediator or an arbitrator. A deadlock is “when both sides are so frustrated with the lack of progress they see no point in talking to each other any more.” The UPS strike in 1998 got to that stage. Neither side would schedule another meeting because it wasn’t getting them anywhere. Secretary of Labor, Alexis Herman, became a mediator and was able to get them to compromise and resolve their differences (maybe I went too far there, but at least she did get them to sign a new labor contract.)

There are major differences between mediation and arbitration, and it’s important not to confuse the two. Mediators ...

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