Great to hear veteran US negotiator Stuart Diamond on Saturday Live on Radio 4. Diamond has helped resolve numerous intractable issues, including the Hollywood writers’ strike and the strike by Bolivian coffee farmers.

His approach is all about putting yourself in the other guy’s shoes and trying to understand his perceptions. Spot on. Deals just don’t get done unless the needs of each party are met. He also spoke about the need to create a personal rapport at an early stage of the negotiation – a thought echoed on air by former hostage John McCarthy. Yes, yes and yes, this kind of climate setting can be crucial, especially in the early stages of a negotiation.

Great to hear an expert getting the message across so clearly and so well, but, given his background and approach, I suppose that it shouldn’t really surprise us that he was able to build rapport and meet the needs of his listeners!