I recently conduced a mediation in the Middle East. It was a large commercial dispute. My learning from a rather new experience is this:

•One needs to understand the local nuances

•Being able to show awareness of some local customs and language is respectful and useful

•But make no assumptions

•There seems to be a very cosmopolitan approach

•There are many more similarities than differences

•We need to find common ground in negotiation concepts which resonate with cultures/traditions, eg seeing two sides, not being dogmatic, taking time

•It is necessary to get to know individuals.. and their styles and likes/dislikes, eg cricket!

•Don’t be overawed…we are all â??Jock Tamson’s bairns…â??

•Be humble about what we bring….others will often know much more than we might think…

•Be flexible, respectful and firm

•Acknowledge contributions of the lesser players

•Take care with language and avoid unnecessary inflammation – by you or others

•Walk more slowly


In other words,  just what we should do normally…..

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