In the early days of personal computing, the development of the “graphical user interface” was accompanied by the acronym, WYSIWYG: “What you see is what you get”. While frustrated computer users know that this was never entirely true, or might only have been true for the computer boffins who designed the interface, the idea was…

Like many of us, I listened with rapt attention to the reporting from Geneva of the Syrian peace talks last week. So much is at stake. And so much of it feels very familiar to me as a mediator. One particularly interesting item was a radio interview last Saturday with a Syrian media officer who…

This is where I did my best work in Christmas week – in the twilight zone between the joint session room to the right of the water cooler and the private caucus room off to the left by the green bins. Corridors can be furtive and risky spaces on mediation days – ‘don’t ask me…

In my last post (http://kluwermediationblog.com/2013/11/27/space-pace-grace-and-face-steps-to-an-ecology-of-mediation/) I started to think out loud about the elements that might contribute to the “ecology” of mediation – that is, the sense of location, context, or genius loci, that might also serve the substantive ends of mediation. My sub-text there was that there is an ineffable “something” about location and…

This week I spoke to a group of young legal practitioners here in New Zealand. I aimed low and went back to source. I suspect I got more of a kick out of it than anyone at the session. So, mediators, look away. There is nothing new here. But users, occasional or repeat, I hope these three…

Much has been written about the impact of body language on communication. I have in a previous entry addressed the connection between non-verbal communication and the building of rapport. While body language is the commonly used term, I prefer the term non-verbal communication for two reasons. First, the term “body language” is a metaphor that…

Not so long ago I was a claiming party as part of a group of plaintiffs in the stead of my elderly parents in a multiparty, multimillion dollar mediation. Now, I mediate around 120 mediations every year as a commercial mediator here in New Zealand so it was with a mix of personal apprehension and professional curiosity…

[Author’s Warning: This entry involves references to and discussions about the system of Cartesian Coordinates and how it might assist mediators in reality testing and reframing. Readers with a Math Phobia are advised to proceed with cautious abandonment.] [Author’s postscript: As I finish writing this, it becomes increasingly clear to me that some readers may…

Just remember – you heard it here first: we are witnesses to the birth and education of a new species (or sub-species): “Homo Appiens”. The identifiable characteristics of this species is the tendency to require, or at least prefer, a mobile application – an App – to underpin the regular incidents of daily life –…