How are decisions made?


I have a negotiation I would like to share with you. I have a client in the corporate world who I have coached for 8 years. This negotiation involves corporate real estate and building a new campus. The team performed strongly executing our checklist and logs. The attorneys, the C-Suite players were in lock step. It went so well that we uncovered fraud of $15M. The more we negotiated the more we uncovered. Of course the legal world stepped in and indictments were handed down to the culprits.

The individual financing the transaction (Mr. Big) for the bad guys professed he had been swindled also. The negotiations continued and the legal system took its course. The first step to settle this was of course negotiation. The number that was stolen from the project and from my team was 15M. Mr. Big refused to protect our side against his indicted partners and would offer no return of the stolen monies he received. (Wonder what he saw to make that decision?) So the legal team said let’s go for discovery. They did and they discovered Mr. Big, was in the fraud up to his eyeballs. Mr. Big’s legal team called for mediation and of course our team accepted.

At mediation our legal team displayed evidence that Mr. Big was completely involved in the fraud. Even so the other team offered to settle for 25 cents on the dollar. After 18 hours of mediation my client shut the mediation down. There last offer was 40 cents on the dollar. Now I get to the question that really intrigues me. Mr. Big had 8 lawyers in this mediation. They moved to 40 cents on the dollar. What was on their minds? How did they make that decision?

Now, what do you think the mediator did? What would you do after 20 hours and so little movement by a party who participated in fraud? Well, he asked my client to take the sure thing. “If this guy where to be prosecuted you never know what will happen at trial, he said.” In fact the mediator was visibly mad at my client for saying no. He even accused my client of not ( bargaining ) in good faith. He wanted my client to compromise away 60% of what was stolen from his shareholders.

I am so intrigued by decision-making and how decisions are made. I ask you, how in the world could so many well-trained, educated people make the decisions they made in this human performance event. Of course I must note my team was negotiating and the other side and the mediator were bargaining. I wonder if Mr. Big will end up in jail? Next step is before a judge to remove privilege

(Jim Camp post on Linked In)

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