Saturday, September 29, 2012

Who Is This Man?


I seldom read Obituaries especially of people whose names I don’t recognize. But flipping through the Economist I saw a full page Obituary of a man named Roger Fisher.  ( Who was he I wondered.  Why did he merit a full page and photo?

The subtitle of piece notes that he was a “lawyer, teach, peacemaker.”  OK.  But then it gets interesting as the article goes on to describe him as a “fixer” of disparate problems from plumbing (to relax)  and world issues.  He was an advisor to Presidents and leaders around the world. 

His advice on negotiating?   “Separate the people from the problem.  Focus on the underling interests of both sides, build a rapport, explore all options.”  Great advice or all of us as we strive to negotiate the challenges of working in our complicated world.  Build the rapport:  take time to talk, share a meal, get to know the other parties.  Then move on to solving the business issues.  It worked for Presidents Reagan and Carter it might work for each of us.  Learn more about his ideas in his book:  Getting to Yes:  Negotiating Agreement without Giving In. (

Now it’s clear to me why a page was dedicated Roger Fisher.   Teacher, lawyer, peacemaker and fixer.

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