From Camp David to business, lessons about Negotiation

Interview with Gilead sher


In conflicts negotiation, Creativity is a keyword, together with Managing. Real open mind is needed, to find paths and solutions in extremely complex plots involving political, cultural, economical and religious issues. Meanwhile, planning the road to negotiation can be more important than the agenda itself.

These are precious lessons for business too, learned throughout a long activity by Gilead Sher, former Israeli Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff and Policy Coordinator, who acted as co-chief negotiator in 1999-2001 at the Camp David summit and at the Taba talks as well as in extensive rounds of covert negotiations with the Palestinians.

Negotiation is connected with communication, something we do every day – Sher said – a way to change reality and forge a better one. Sometimes, in a political scenario, this can be a challenge in a very complicated arena, in which emotional and psychological aspects are involved too. So, changing the mindset of people and pushing for a successful result require a creative approach on ongoing basis. A constant creativity sometimes expressed not at the negotiation table, he points out, but in taking new elements from outside on that table.

Quite surprisingly, Sher observed, the main lesson he learned is that the process management is much more important than substance issues, contents or solutions of the negotiation. Process needs to be very binding, rigid and clear to the parties. Supervising this process and making it clear to the parties is crucial for a successful outcome in business, legal or professional negotiations too.

As attorney, Gilead Sher is involved in promoting complex regional projects and representing multinational companies operating in the Middle-East and in particular in Israel. He teaches regularly as a guest lecturer at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and works as a Lecturer at Tel Aviv University.

He talked to Forbes at an event in Lugano, special guest of 21Min, promoted by Patrizio Paoletti, international conferences hosting outstanding and inspiring speakers from all over the world, in TED Conferences style.


.The article and video were published by Roberto Bonzeio on Forbes