A couple of weeks ago I came across a poem by the Native American writer Joy Harjo, entitled “Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings.” The title made me curious, as might be expected for a mediator. You can find the whole poem online on the Poetry Foundation website, or you can buy the book of poems…

Mediation has taken me to many places – professionally, physically, intellectually, emotionally, spiritually. Last week I was so fortunate to be doing six days of training in Tbilisi, Georgia, at New Vision University. Three days with students learning the skills of mediation and three days with young professionals reflecting on appropriate communication and challenging conversations…

I am sorry for writing about Brexit again here. It is not as if Brexit matters that much. To readers of this blog outside of Europe perhaps not all. But I cannot resist it. I was thinking about writing about the Beatles and The Rolling Stones – arguably equally as UK-centric as Brexit. Well, I…

The word “manipulation” has a bad name. It is usually used to denote devious and underhand behaviour. If we say that someone is being manipulative or that someone is a manipulative person then we are usually disapproving. Mediators are manipulators, and master mediators are master manipulators. I respond here to Rick Weiler’s recent post, in…

Last week I was reading an essay by the American novelist Jonathan Franzen, and was struck by the following thought: “The essay’s roots are in literature, and literature at its best […] invites you to ask whether you might be somewhat wrong, maybe even entirely wrong, and to imagine why someone else might hate you.”…

I was again privileged to be at the ICC International Commercial Mediation Competition in early February, which this time included a new event – an intergenerational round table, workshops for student and professional participants together. It began with an hour of dialogue around one table, where participants were asked to generate and discuss questions for…

There is an old debate in mediation circles about the qualifications (formal and informal) that mediators need to mediate, and what specialist knowledge they are expected to have. In some countries, mediators are required to be qualified lawyers – so that the legislator has answered at least one of the questions in this old debate…

I was outside a city-centre store in the drizzle and dark two days ago, wondering whether my brain was made for better things than standing reflecting on waiting for my wife to emerge from a busy shop with another last-minute Christmas present. The human brain is a wondrous thing; we waste its powers in the…

Over recent years I have been fortunate to be able to travel widely for work, and everywhere I go I find time to visit places of worship and sit quietly or attend services – in mosques, churches, synagogues and temples. I listen, either to the silence, to my thoughts, or to the ritual. Recently I…