Labor talks: A failure to communicate

Both sides are talking but neither is listening, and the waiting game continues

Updated: October 22, 2011, 9:18 PM ET
By Andrew Brandt | ESPN.com

In thinking about the emotional and sniping reactions to NBA talks breaking off, I am reminded of a line from the old movie "Cool Hand Luke": "What we've got here is a failure to communicate."

It turns out the marathon negotiating sessions in front of mediator George Cohen were not really negotiating sessions at all. The two sides were talking, but they were not listening to each other. And listening, not talking, is the most important skill in negotiations. Cohen, bless his heart, ...

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