Episode 152

Published on:

17th Aug 2023

Mastering Conflict: A Conversation with Hesha Abrams on Mediation and Negotiation

Have you ever wondered what it takes to navigate the most challenging conflicts, resolve disputes that seem unsolvable, and negotiate deals with confidence and success?

In this episode, Denise Cooper sits down with the extraordinary Hesha Abrams, a world-renowned mediator, negotiator, and author with more than 30 years of experience in resolving conflicts and negotiating deals. Hesha has tackled some of the most difficult cases in the fields of intellectual property, antitrust, securities, and beyond. Her ability to navigate through challenging personalities, cultural barriers, and highly political situations makes her a sought-after professional in her field.

From international symposiums to domestic and international cases, Hesha's knack for crafting pragmatic solutions has made her a revered figure in the world of conflict resolution. Her expertise goes beyond standard practice, encompassing complex emotional dynamics and unique approaches that stand out in the world of mediation. Her upcoming book, "Holding The Calm," offers a treasure trove of insights on reading situations, solving problems, and restoring peace.

In the conversation, Hesha shares her perspectives on why conflict is often mishandled, how to approach relationships with people we don't like, and what principles guide her decision-making process as an arbitrator. With real-life examples and a no-nonsense approach, she sheds light on some of the most common obstacles people face in negotiations and conflict resolution, offering valuable insights that can be applied in everyday life.

If you've been wanting to understand the intricate world of mediation, negotiation, and dealmaking, and learn skills that could dramatically improve how you handle conflicts and negotiations in your life, this is the episode for you.


  1. How did you get into this work? What is the most difficult case you've encountered?[03:11]
  2. What inspired you to write your book, Holding the Calm? [14:00]
  3. How can our listeners hold themselves accountable as they do this work of "holding the calm"[27:27]







Hesha Abrams is a world-renowned mediator, negotiator, and author, with over 30 years of experience in resolving conflicts and difficult problems. She specializes in settling challenging cases, solving problems, and negotiating deals.

Hesha's innovative and pragmatic solutions are sought-after for an array of complex conflicts. She has a keen sensitivity to difficult personalities, cultural, and political issues, and a knack for resolving cases that appear intractable and unsolvable, even those that have been dragging on for a decade. Her unique approach involves creating resolution options that work effectively, even in highly political or emotionally charged situations.

Hesha has also handled cases involving intellectual property, antitrust, securities, consumer class actions, environment, and contracts both domestically and internationally. Some of her noteworthy cases have involved large-scale pharmaceutical disputes, significant patent settlements for major telecom companies, and major conflicts over trademarks, among others.

She has been invited to speak on negotiation at international symposiums, such as the 2001 International Symposium on Negotiation and Conflict Resolution in The Hague, Netherlands. Her experience spans countries like Taiwan, China, Thailand, Japan, Sweden, United Kingdom, India, Mexico, Israel, and Vietnam.

In addition to her mediation and negotiation work, Hesha has served as an arbitrator and was a trial lawyer earlier in her career. She has received several professional awards and associations, including membership of the National Academy of Distinguished Neutrals and top-rated lawyer by Corporate Counsel. Hesha is also an author; her book, "Holding The Calm", provides insights on how to read situations to solve problems, eliminate conflict, and restore peace, and includes inspiring stories that demonstrate these principles in action.

Hesha has a JD with honors from the Florida State University College of Law and a BA from the University of Florida.

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About the Podcast

Remarkable Leadership Lessons
Listen today to learn how you can lead high-preforming, inclusive teams.
On the Remarkable Leadership Lessons Podcast, we believe that acknowledging that you don’t know what to do differently is a sign of strength not weakness. Our guests will give you the tools to ask for that much-needed raise, to prepare yourself for life in the C-Suite, and to develop a growth mindset that leads you and your team to the desired results. We help you make work, career and leadership work for you.

Host Denise Cooper helps listeners assemble the building blocks of emotional intelligence: accountability, compassion, the willingness to admit wrongdoing, and the determination to follow through. Problems do not end with strategy. They end with thoughtfully developed solutions consistently put into practice.
Make your actions intentional, your behaviors mindful, and your decisions deliberate. And no matter what, own up to all of them.

About your host

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Denise Cooper