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 –…

It is trite that one of key tasks of a mediator is to sort out what Patton, Stone and Heen in their book “Difficult Conversations” refer to as the “What Happened” conversation. Although they write about this and two other conversations in the context of negotiation, their insights are pertinent to mediators as well. One…

I’m not often drawn to practical tips. I once discovered that I am an “activist” learner. This apparently means that I learn best when “thrown in at the deep end” and less well when “absorbing and understanding data” (see http://archive.excellencegateway.org.uk/page.aspx?o=152477 for a description of learning styles and http://www.peterhoney.com for a self-evaluation test). It perhaps explains…