Mediation: “The insertion of a human buffer between people who need assistance to interact with each other.” This definition speaks to the three core issues facing the mediator every time they enter a session. Human: to what degree does the mediator insert their own humanity into the process of mediation. Interact: to what degree does…

  Kindergarten and conflict – Pre-school leadership in conflict resolution. Becoming a devoted Grandma has been a surprising and enriching learning experience for me. The early childhood teaching and learning regime in Australia (and across the world) is truly remarkable and is revolutionising how children engage with the world. An important element of this is…

A few days ago my daughter asked me a question that challenged and inspired me, and that has me thinking still. Often, we say it is little children who catch us out with their questions. But my two adult children seem to manage to test my assumptions, ideas and actions more and more the older…

I had planned, indeed had partly written, the usual form of blog for this month. It was to be a further comment on access to dispute resolution and justice, picking up on Zbynek Loebl’s recent blog on developments in ODR, and my own recent participation in a Forum on digital inclusion, hosted by the Department…

Many years ago, a group of friends were driving in the south of England in a rental car and, in need of directions (pre-Google maps and GPS), we pulled over to the side of the road to ask a gentleman the way. I leapt out, approached him and asked for the directions, to which he…

Photo credit: Creative Commons Jean M.Mas 2/2007 Although my mediation training made no mention of it, 32 years of mediating have taught me that mediations generally unfold over two stages: Stage 1: “Who Did What to Whom”? Here parties (or their lawyers) follow the ritual of naming, blaming and claiming – recounting facts, providing evidence…

Mediation is certainly featuring in the international news right now. This week Giuseppe De Palo posted an enthusiastic message about workplace conflict resolution. He congratulated the Office of the Ombudsman for UN Funds and Programmes as it prepares to establish a world-wide panel of mediators to make mediation “the first, natural step to take in…

Brings you down to buy a paper If you read between the lines No one seems to have the answer To living in these troubled times Still you try and you try And you do what you must do “Living in these troubled times” R. Cook, S. Hogin, P. Donnelly; sung by Maura O’Connell (amongst…

Photo credit: Christof Häuser, via Nathalie Birli We mediators are accustomed to recognising empathy as an important part of our mediation repertoire which is consistently reinforced in our training and professional development. It is front of mind for many of us as we plan for and conduct our mediations. This blog has seen its fair…