The Forceful Mediator

Is the forceful mediator effective? I recently read an article that included the following invective:

There are a few self-styled elite mediators who work in New York City and claim success through forcefulness, their ability to whup good lawyers into submission. They are mainly retired judges who rely on their high status, rather than mediation skills, to generate work. Since this forcefulness is claimed to be effective, we must ask: Does it really work? (emphasis added) Kichaven, J. (2017, February). The Myth Of The Forceful Mediator. Retrieved February 20, 2017, from

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Principles matter – negotiation strategies for entrepreneurs

I “met” an interesting fellow while building some parts of my new mediation website and blog. He very graciously pointed me to an article of his that contains timeless wisdom about effective negotiating.

Know your best alternative if you have to walk away from the negotiation. Try to discover theirs. Dale knew he could find work as an executive, after all, he was in the top 10 per cent of his class from a respected school. Someone would hire him. His biggest worry was for his employees.

via Principles matter – negotiation strategies for entrepreneurs.



Brian Babcock

First published in the Globe and Mail, July 4, 2003

This snippet demonstrates the BATNA1 feature of effective negotiating, a principle which is important during a mediation. In my years on the bench it has been apparent that in litigation parties often have a poor understanding of their BATNA and even if they do, the rigid process of litigation smothers any ability to control alternatives.

More fine articles and information can be found on his website at

  1. Best Alternative To Negotiated Agreement