Crossing the Last Gap

John Wade, Bond University

Document Type Journal Article

Wade, John (2006). Crossing the Last Gap. In A. Schneider & C. Honeyman (Eds.), The negotiator's fieldbook (chap. 54, pp. 467-474). Washington, DC: ABA Section of Dispute Resolution.

This paper was originally published in 1995 as 'The last gap in negotiations. Why is it important? How can it be crossed?' in Volume 6, Issue 2 of the Australian Dispute Resolution Journal.


It’s three o’clock in the morning. You’ve been negotiating or mediating since 9 a.m. and everybody is exhausted. Each side has made more concessions that it really thinks it should have had to, and the gap between the parties has narrowed to millimeters. But there it has stuck, and will stay stuck unless you do something new. Every sophisticated negotiator or experienced mediator has a personal answer to this problem, a private stock of a few gambits, often tried and sometimes successful. But John Wade has the longest list we have ever seen, 16 techniques in all. Not one of them works all the time, but together they can materially improve your batting average.