“For as long as our records go back, we have held these two things dear, landscape and memory. Each infuses us with a different kind of life. The one feeds us, figuratively and literally. The other protects us from lies and tyranny. To keep landscapes intact and the memory of them, our history in them,…

money

Twice today I’ve found myself responding to mediator reflections in these terms: the money’s not about the money. Both cases involved financial negotiation, even haggling, but that’s deceptive. The key to settlement lay not in the realm of calculation and rationality but in the more opaque social world of face, punishment, justice and emotion. In…

In an increasingly turbulent and polarised world, where fear and anxiety are on the march and divide and rule is more in evidence, it is tempting to circle the waggons to keep those who disagree with us at bay. In this sort of environment differences are magnified, positions become entrenched, interests are overlooked and others…

It’s just over six weeks since the horrific shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, leading to 50 deaths, and a month since I felt compelled to make that event the topic of my blog. Now, in the wake of the attacks on three churches and three luxury hotels in Sri Lanka leading to over 250…

“All changed, changed utterly, A terrible beauty is born.” – W B Yeats, “Easter 1916” “Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness…

We are living in an every expanding web of interdependence; built around trade, investment, cultural exchange, digital technologies, and global politics. In such an environment effective cooperation is an ever more crucial. Yet alongside this need there are equally strong drivers spurring on ever more competition for resources, markets, talent etc.  Both cooperation and competition…

When I first started getting seriously interested in mediation over ten years ago, the thought struck me that ‘Shades of Grey’ might be a good name for an organisation involved in this field. Thankfully, given a subsequent publication and film, I didn’t pursue it any further – although if I’d registered the domain name it…

A good friend of mine was recently surprised to see a robot cutting the grass around a well-known landmark in Edinburgh. Coincidentally this was around the same time as I came across a speech given by Adair Turner in April this year entitled “Capitalism in the age of robots: work, income and wealth in the…

“Odd as it may seem, I am my remembering self, and the experiencing self, who does my living, is like a stranger to me.” (Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow, (2011: 390) This blog arises from my recent reading of Dr Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal: Illness, Medicine, and What Matters in the End (2014). This might…

I was reflecting the other day that in the 25 years that I have been conducting workshops in Negotiation, Mediation and other related areas, most conflict resolution workshops don’t seem to pay a lot of attention to personality preferences and how these can contribute towards conflict. I recently ran a workshop for the Law Society…