The Negotiator Magazine
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Letters to the Editor
Charles Cameron of Canada asked last month who readers might consider to be the top deal-makers and their outstanding deals in negotiations history. We followed up with the following invitation to readers:

If you have a favorite deal you believe demonstrates outstanding negotiating performance, please send a letter telling us when the negotiation occurred, a brief description of the deal and why you consider it one of the most extraordinary negotiated outcomes in history. We will be pleased to publish your recommendation. Perhaps, we can start a negotiatorís hall of fame.
First Nomination for Negotiator Honors ... King Solomon

Assuming the nominee can be either living or dead, I nominate King Solomon as one of the greatest arbitrators in history for his settlement of the famous dispute over which claimant is the mother of a child. Solomon was King of Israel approximately 3000 years ago.

The facts are these: two women appeared before the king, each claiming to be the mother of the same child. The first woman to speak told the king that the women lived together and each of them had recently given birth to a boy. Further, she alleged that the other woman had rolled on top of her son in the night and killed her infant. She further claimed that the other woman had switched the children in the night, placing the dead child with the speaker and stealing the speakerís living child that she now pretends to be her son. The second mother denies the allegations and attests that the living boy is her true son.

Solomon immediately creates a test to find the truth about the facts at issue in the dispute. "Bring me my sword," he commands. When the sword arrives, he tells the parties that the answer is simple. He will divide the living child and give half to each of the claimants. Now, that is putting it to the parties.

Confronted with the proposed resolution, the first mother pleads with the king not to kill the child and instead that the boy be given to the other woman. The second woman agrees with the arbitratorís solution of dividing the child as a fair settlement. Solomon, of course, awards the baby to the first woman as the rightful mother and is hailed for his wisdom. Certainly, he deserves to be included in the top negotiator group for a creative test of truth under the arbitration category.

Frank Martin, New York, U.S.

Heís on the list, no lack of qualification for an outstanding performance simply because it was accomplished three thousand years ago Ö We look forward to more nominees.

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