“For nobody would understand, And you kill what you fear, And you fear what you don’t understand.” Powerful words. As a progressive rock music aficionado, these lyrics taken from the song “Duke’s Travels” by my favourite band, Genesis, have often brought me up short as I listen to the album from which they come, 1980’s…

“In negotiations of all kinds, the greater your capacity for empathy – the more carefully you try to understand all of the other side’s motivations, interests and constraints – the more options you tend to have for potentially resolving the dispute or deadlock.” These are wise words from negotiation guru, Deepak Malhotra of Harvard Business…

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…

While the Brexit saga continues to make headlines around the world, the international mediation community should not forget to keep an eye on recent major developments in the field of ADR. The Civil Justice Council’s ADR working group has released its much anticipated final report on the use of ADR within the civil justice system…

Bloomberg (not my usual reading fodder, I confess) carried an interesting piece a couple of months ago, entitled “Meet the Real Force Behind the Brexit Talks”. Yes, it was about Brexit (yawn) but it was about an unseen side of the negotiations. Opening with the line “In every negotiation the most important work is done…

“It was impossible to get a good conversation going; everybody was talking too much. ” Yogi Berra I use the word “odd” here in two of its meanings in English: odd as in occasional or sporadic; and odd as in strange, worthy of comment. This blog is a reflection on recent conversations observed or engaged…

Negotiation teachers often scratch their heads looking for scenarios to engage students – something realistic, complex and with high enough stakes to motivate participants. Recently it came to me that we in the UK are sitting on a negotiation goldmine. The Brexit negotiations are certainly real, arguably the most complex we’ve ever undertaken and have…

On the face of it clarity and certainty would always appear to be preferable to ambiguity, in order that people know where they stand and can plan and act accordingly. However, in a recent article Fintan O’Toole reflected on the position of Northern Ireland in the Brexit negotiations and concluded: “…stopping the violence meant creating…

The U.K.’s decision to leave the EU and the voting in of the protectionist Donald Trump to the US presidency has drawn both the UK and the USA into the Nash Trap. U.S. mathematician John Nash (the movie ‘A Beautiful Mind’) postulated that Adam Smith’s declaration that ‘In competition, individual ambition serves the common good’…