Why is it so hard to achieve peace between Israel and Palestine? The groups have spent thousands of years fighting wars, burning temples, building walls, and persecuting peoples.

A coParent could argue that everything is wrong in the current negotiations: a failure to listen, emotionally charged speech, unrealistic expectations, divergent communications styles, cultural disparities, and a lack of trust. There is a feeling (on both sides) that the parties have never had equal bargaining power in the negotiations. And there is a deep well of negative emotions on each side. There has not been peace between Israelis and Palestinians because both parties are locked into the past, validating their positions based on ancient evidence.

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In contrast, when parties focus on their interests, which are derived from present needs and limitations, those interests invite dialogue and compromise. is present-moment focus is the foundation of mindfulness practice and allows you to see what’s in front of you, not what’s behind you or on the horizon. The past is a burdensome frame that rarely moves negotiation forward. It takes a focus on the present to do that. And it’s only when negotiators are able to shift attention to the here and now that significant progress can be made.

These are many of the elements I focus on — including being prepared, building relationships, and knowing both your own and the other party’s goals and real interests. A coParent negotiator must remain patient and focused not on past grievances, but on present interests.

Excerpt from The Transformative Negotiator: Changing How We Come to Agreement from the Inside Out. By Michèle Huff, J.D. UNHOOKED BOOKS.



About Michèle Huff, J.D.

Michèle Huff is an attorney who has negotiated on behalf of Fortune 500 companies, including Oracle Corporation, Sun Microsystems, and Canal+ and start-up companies including Kalepa Networks and Cinnafilm. She has also negotiated on behalf of hundreds of individual clients and manages the Archer Law Group, a firm specializing in protecting and licensing creative properties. Since 2008, she has been the University of New Mexico’s lawyer for research, technology and intellectual property. She negotiates agreements with industry, academic institutions, and governmental agencies on a regular basis. Michèle has taught intellectual property and licensing at the University of New Mexico’s School of Law, and has led negotiation workshops for local community foundations, technology venture associations, and business incubators. In May, she co-presented a session on Transformative Negotiation at NBIA’s 28th International Conference on Business Incubation in New Orleans. She was named one of Albuquerque Business First’s 2014 Women of Influence.

To view Huff's book, "The Transformative Negotiator," visit this link: