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Commercial Mediation Part II: Negotiation Theory, Skills, and Communication

(398 Ratings)

Produced on: February 20, 2015

Course Format On Demand Audio

Taught by


Course Description

Time 62 minutes
Difficulty Beginner

If information is the currency of negotiation, communication is the highway by which it travels. Effective communication involves not only giving and receiving essential information, but also doing so in a manner conducive to  building understanding and engendering constructive dealmaking. The Mediator models effective communication skills and facilitates helpful communication among all participants in the process.

Part II of Mr. Baum's eight-part Commercial Mediation course applies lessons learned from joint mutual gains bargaining theory. Fisher and Ury advise negotiators to be "soft on the people," in order to build trust, steer clear of entangling relationships in the bargaining process, and mitigate the rancor that can develop where there are disputes. This approach lays the groundwork for identification of the issues, development of parties interests, generation of options to meet those interests, and consideration of applicable standards and of the alternative to proposed deals. All of these activities depend on effective communication.  

Part II examines forms of communication that trigger discord and those that promote concord. We develop skills in "Active Listening" - learning to validate, empathize, clarify and summarize. We also gain clarity on the essential skills of reflection back, restating, reframing, looping, and "appreciative inquiry" - all of which are designed to cultivate rich and significant communications, develop understanding, and dig for interests and other building block of deals.


Learning Objectives

  1. Understand the importance and role of communication in light of Negotiation Theory
  2. Distinguish "Chips" and "Chops" - language that inhibits or encourages communication and deal making
  3. Cultivate active listening 
    1. Validate
    2. Empathize
    3. Clarify
    4. Summarize
  4. Develop skills in and understanding of: Reflection, Restating, Reframing, Looping and Appreciative Inquiry
  5. Modulate parties' communication to foster constructive dialogue and dealmaking


Simeon H. Baum

Resolve Mediation Services, Inc.

Simeon Baum, President of Resolve Mediation Services, Inc. (, has successfully mediated over 1,000 disputes. He has been active since 1992 as a neutral in dispute resolution, assuming the roles of mediator, neutral evaluator and arbitrator in a variety of cases, including the highly publicized mediation of the Studio Daniel Libeskind-Silverstein Properties dispute over architectural fees relating to the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site, Trump’s $ 1 billion suit over the West Side Hudson River development, and Archie Comics’ shareholder/CEO dispute. He was selected for New York Magazine’s 2005 - 2014 “Best Lawyers” and “New York Super Lawyers” listings for ADR ( and Best Lawyers’ “Lawyer of the Year” for ADR in New York for 2011 and 2014 ( for the International Who’s Who of Commercial Mediation Lawyers 2012-14.

An attorney, with 30 years’ experience as a litigator, Mr. Baum has served as a mediator or ADR neutral in a wide variety of matters involving claims concerning business disputes, financial services, securities industry disputes, reinsurance and insurance coverage, property damage and personal injury, malpractice, employment, ERISA benefits, accounting, civil rights, partnership, family business, real property, construction, surety bond defaults, unfair competition, fraud, bank fraud, bankruptcy, intellectual property, 

Mr. Baum has a longstanding involvement in Alternative Dispute Resolution ("ADR"). He has served as a neutral for the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York Mediation Panels; New Jersey Superior Court, Civil Part, Statewide; Commercial Division, New York State Supreme Court, New York & Westchester Counties; U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern & Eastern Districts of New York; the New York Stock Exchange; National Association of Securities Dealers; the U.S. Postal Service, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and CPR, and National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals (NADN), among others. 

Mr. Baum’s peers have appointed him to many key posts: e.g., Member, ADR Advisory Group, Commercial Division, Supreme Court, New York County; ADR Advisory Group and Mediation Ethics Advisory Committee, N.Y. State Unified Court System. Founding Chair of the N.Y. State Bar Association’s Dispute Resolution Section, he was also subcommittee chair of the N.Y. State Bar Association’s ADR Committee; Legislative Tracking Subcommittee Chair of the ADR Committee of the Litigation Section of the American Bar Association; Charter Member, ABA Dispute Resolution Section Corporate Liaison Committee; President, Federal Bar Association’s SDNY Chapter, and Chair of the FBA’s national ADR Section. He is past Chair of the New York County Lawyers Association (NYCLA) Committee on Arbitration and ADR. Besides serving on the NYCLA’s Committee on Committees, he is past Chair of the Joint Committee on Fee Dispute and Conciliation (of NYCLA, ABC NY, and Bronx County Bar Associations), and is on the Board of Governors, NYS Attorney-Client Fee Dispute Resolution Program. He is also a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation. He is a Director for the New York NADN panel. 

Mr. Baum has shared his enthusiasm for ADR through teaching, training, extensive writing and public speaking. He has taught ADR at NYU's School of Continuing and Professional Development, and he teaches Negotiation, and Processes of Dispute Resolution (focusing on Negotiation, Mediation and Arbitration) at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. He developed and conducts 3-day programs training mediators for the Commercial Division, Supreme Court, New York, Queens, and Westchester Counties. He has been a panelist, presenter and facilitator for numerous programs on mediation, arbitration, and ADR for Judges, attorneys, and other professionals. Mr. Baum is a graduate of Colgate University and the Fordham University School of Law.


Stephen K.

Interesting and useful

James A.

great program

Kimberly P.

Excellent program

James G.

Very good

Elizabeth S.

Love the dialogue examples. Very helpful.

Lee H.

Good session on the positives of mediation and ways to "get there"--getting to Yes!!!

Daniel L.

Instructor is really great; I am liking this series a lot.

Gwen I.

Excellent course

mark s.

very helpful

D. Larry G.

These mediation sessions are great. Thank you Lawline and Mr. Baum.

Clayton S.

Very good speaker. He presents the material in an understandable manner without putting the listener to sleep.

Merrick W.

Very informative.

Michel E.

Really enjoying this series.

David G.

I really liked that, he was great

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