I was reflecting the other day that in the 25 years that I have been conducting workshops in Negotiation, Mediation and other related areas, most conflict resolution workshops don’t seem to pay a lot of attention to personality preferences and how these can contribute towards conflict. I recently ran a workshop for the Law Society…

The story of the blindfolded men who each approach an elephant from different angles (at the tusk it’s described as a spear, at the tail a rope, at the leg a tree etc.) is a good example of how multiple truths can exist depending on the perspective you take. Different views can often be the…

On the face of it clarity and certainty would always appear to be preferable to ambiguity, in order that people know where they stand and can plan and act accordingly. However, in a recent article Fintan O’Toole reflected on the position of Northern Ireland in the Brexit negotiations and concluded: “…stopping the violence meant creating…

Minor sport arbitration was heading towards rendering of an award which none of the parties would have been happy about. And then, arbitrator proposed a mediation window and asked the football coach: “OK, then… What do you really need? Surely not the small amount of money you are claiming?” After a moment of hesitation, claimant…

I recently attended the annual American Bar Association Dispute Resolution conference in San Francisco. Several themes emerged (for me) as fairly critical for modern lawyers. Here’s a top ten. Problem-Solving and Risk Analysis is more than learning about the law or what a court might do. Most issues which clients bring to lawyers are resolved…

In this article I discuss some of the perception and cognitive biases relevant to conflict as well as the interaction between biases and conflict. I think that it is important for mediators to be aware of the parties’ biases, firstly, to understand how biases are contributing to the conflict, and secondly, to help the parties…

Raymond Williams, Resources of Hope (published posthumously in 1989), p. 118 I write and will upload this blog on the eve of my departure for Paris and the ICC’s 12th International Commercial Mediation Competition. On the ‘due date’ for this blog, I’ll be somewhere between Auckland and London. Again, it will be my huge pleasure…

While I haven’t been to the ICC competition for a few years, I am so looking forward to attending in early February. Paris in the dead of winter is magical. Those lonely 6am starts from an empty and frigid Charles de Gaulle Étoile on Paris Métro Line 1 are a right of passage for any aspiring mediator….

I have just read Ian Macduff’s recent Kluwer blog (26 November: “Upheaval and resilience: a note from the Shaky Isles”). What a privilege it is, in this blog, to follow Ian’s erudite writing. He captures so well the spirit of the age, with all its uncertainty, tragedy, hope and opportunity. On that theme, my wife…

It is unusual times when the Church can be seen to be more progressive in certain matters than the State but this may actually be such a time. The UK has reached a stage in its history where polarized views and a lack of respect between the people who hold those views predominates. As the…