For readers who are new, the “Neuro-Linguist’s Toolbox” series is an ongoing series focused on using Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) in our practice of amicable dispute resolution. The first section focused on rapport (the first of which can be found here). The second section focuses on matters of self-care and personal improvement for mediators (the first…

“I think the EU will need to move significantly on both those key points because they’re points of principle.” (Dominic Raab, UK Foreign Secretary, speaking on the BBC this morning) The Brexit negotiation, despite its dizzying stakes, has triggered a fair amount of wry humour. I’ve poked gentle fun at the protagonists myself: Brexit Irritators:…

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions” was a saying I heard quite a few times while growing up, as another childhood wheeze bit the dust. I returned to it while reading Michal Sandel’s recent book ‘The Tyranny of Merit’, in which he takes a very critical look at the notion of meritocracy….

“Half moons ago people were hollowed-out tablets of stone spaces were given them according to spaces they left . . . some spaces were filled with darkness no light would shine there . . .” – From “Afkasi” by Dr Selina Tusitala Marsh, former poet laureate of New Zealand Many of you will be familiar…

Covid is the gift that keeps on giving. It has provided a wonderful focus for blame that has let us off the hook for a lot of things. It has coincided with significant changes in our mediation experiences and again has been seized on as the culprit when mediation sessions go ‘off piste’. The new…

Introduction “A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.” William James Whether as mediators, advisors or parties in dispute, we consider ourselves rational, open minded thinkers. We make decisions in an objective, non-biased fashion, don’t we? Sadly, not often. We are all susceptible to a swarm of cognitive…

“All of humanity’s problems stem from [one’s] inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” – Blaise Pascal, Pensées We have done a lot of walking in recent weeks. As we approach the end of the extended “Level 4” of the Covid-19 lockdown in New Zealand, we look forward to only slightly lifted restrictions on…

“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…