You are usually at a disadvantage for you will take over the boat in midst of the conflict storm without having the chance to prepare the crew and to check on the ship. Yet you are charged to navigate the vessel through all perils of misunderstandings, mistrust, and perceptions. It takes time to make sure…

The old guy smiled. His old Corsican eyes showed some understanding…: “How much do you have?” -“I have a ten euro bill and we are leaving tomorrow…” – “OK, boy, deal…but no receipt, right?” Not understanding the shadow economy at the time, I accepted without knowing why is he not willing to give me a…

In the house of a poor man, a lizard was accustomed to come to the table and thereby kept himself alive on crumbs. During this time, everything went well with both the animal and the host whose fortune grew. When the farmer became rich, he became angry at the beast. One morning, he wounded it…

In one of my recent cases, the question of impartiality appeared in quite an irregular way. It happened when I entered the mediation room where both parties were seated together with their lawyers. They were drinking coffee and making small talk. To my surprise, one of the lawyers looked quite familiar. Just for a moment,…

James Bond enters a casino where a beautiful girl is sitting at the bar. He approaches her, buys her a drink and makes his obligatory introduction: “Bond, James Bond…” After brief chatting, she asks him about his profession. Then, the usually reckless hero comes up with a cover story: “I am a mediator… Traveling to…

You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone. Al Capone This popular quote attributed to the famous US mobster announce the use of force and other dirty tricks in negotiation. I do not especially like it. I would relativise it by the following…

– “You will cut the damn tree down”, one neighbour said. – “Not a chance!” answered the other. – “In that case, I have nothing else to tell you…” – “As you wish…we may also sit here in silence…” Having said that, both parties crossed their arms, backed in their chairs and stared at each…

Christmas Spirit in Air It is hard to miss that the Christmas is coming, especially if you live in this part of the world. The streets of both major cities and smallest villages are decorated, the trees’ candles lit up and everybody is carrying lots of presents in public transport. If you are lucky enough,…

Shortly after the neighbourhood mediation started, one of the parties turned to me her eyes flashed with anger: “Everything that he is telling is false, do not listen to him…” The other party got het up: “Indeed, Mr. mediator, everything I have ever said was a lie…Do not listen to me…” Without even knowing this,…

The parties left my office much later in the afternoon than I would have foreseen in the morning. As I was accompanying them to the exit, the package was already attending me on the front desk: It was the very typewriter I am now writing this blog on. As I was unpacking it, I was…