Settlement Perspectives

Thoughts on how to resolve disputes and get your deal done.


Add Your PerspectiveNovember 24, 2013

Negotiation Ethics: The MWRA Presentation

I recently had the pleasure of presenting Negotiation Ethics: From Oxymoron to Everyday Practice to the Mississippi Water Resources Association’s 2013 Educational Conference in Vicksburg — and I think we all learned something in the process.

As you can imagine, a talk on negotiation ethics for engineers is a bit different than one to lawyers, but a few of the quotes that resonated with the MWRA’s membership apply to lawyers, too.  A great example is this one from Warren Buffett:

It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it.  If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.

and another is this one from Stephen M. R. Covey’s The Speed of Trust:

When trust is low, in a company or in a relationship, it places a hidden ‘tax’ on every transaction:  every communication, every interaction, every strategy, every decision is taxed, bringing speed down and sending costs up.

While the talk might have explored the formal boundaries that guide negotiation ethics, the story of the boiling frog — which Bob Bennett once told to my Legal Team better than I ever will — resonated even more.  There are way to know you’re lost, and after this talk I think the MWRA’s members know a few more.

Take a look at Negotiation Ethics: From Oxymoron to Everyday Practice — you’ll be glad you did.

Categories: Negotiation,Negotiation Ethics

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Settlement Perspectives
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of John DeGroote.

I created this site to help clients and their counsel navigate the challenges that inevitably result from disputes, settlement efforts, impasse, and negotiation in general. The perspectives I bring are based on my experience, summarized in this abbreviated bio. If you have any questions or thoughts about this site, or an issue you’d like to see addressed, please email me at:


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