The title of this blog is not as harsh and heartless as it might seem at first sight. True, mediation proceeds largely on assumptions of disputant autonomy and participation; and the expectation is that the outcomes will be those designed by, and with the commitment of, the participants. This comment, however, picks up on two…

Many of us have been hearing about Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) for years but haven’t quite got round to using it. It sounds like a nice idea when face-to-face mediation isn’t an option through distance and/or cost. And yet I suspect that for most mediators the ‘gold standard’ is being in the same room as…

Tension Raising Behaviours; 100% statements Labelling Put downs and excitable statements Threats Interpreting/analysing/patronising/matronising Collecting allies Non-verbal behaviours Preparing an attack Sarcasm Defensiveness/self justifying Over detailing Tension Reducing Behaviours; Acknowledging probable legitimate concerns Put in perspective Be specific Own the interpretation Own the personal response Invite feedback Invite response

I am interested in convergence – of ideas, of behaviour, of trends, of different disciplines. The more I read, the more common themes I discern in the arts, science, spirituality, leadership and in what we do as mediators. A reflection of this is found in the African concept of ubuntu, “the profound sense that we…

I write here about two contrasting experiences which have, for me, underscored the richness of the mediation process. In one mediation, involving business partners with an ongoing management issue, one of the protagonists (A) suggested bringing in another partner (D) who was not perceived to be a part of the present problem, simply to observe,…

“Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves. . . Do not now look for the answers. . . At present you need to live the question.” Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet At the heart of the idea of mediation is the aim of…

I have been reflecting recently on the individual and collective professional journeys we all undertake – and on the different stages we reach. My reading has taken me to a thought-provoking book by theologian Richard Rohr, entitled Falling Upward. Rohr’s thesis, put very simply, is that there are two stages to life. The first, necessary,…

In my previous entry, I wondered about high and low context communication, and what this might mean at the mediation table when we’re not always aware of what is NOT being said. Here, I continue the speculation, this time about and taking that communication and mediation online. The “here” of my title is the world…