A Great Mediator Dies

The New York Times did a wonderful obituary on Theodore H. Kheel – a true master of the Mediation profession.

Rest in peace Mr. Kheel and thanks for your wonderful work as an arbitrator/labor mediator extraordinaire!  You leave a great legacy for the profession.

I love this quote:

“The essence of mediation is getting information,” Mr. Kheel once told The New Yorker. “The dirtiest question you can ask in bargaining is ‘What will you settle for?’ If you ask that question, you ought to resign, but that’s the question you must have an answer to. You get it by asking every question except that. What’s leftover is the answer.”

Now, this is what I call great advice.  I can’t tell you how many times I was in mediation while practicing law and this is the first question that comes out from the mediator in a private caucus.  I tell you, I knew I was on my own in getting anything done that day!  Maybe I should be thankful because I remember thinking every time that happened to me that I should give mediation a try.