“The key to doing well lies not in overcoming others, but in eliciting their co-operation.” Robert Axelrod “Although negotiation takes place every day, it is not easy to do well. Standard strategies for negotiation often leave people dissatisfied, worn out or alienated…..” Roger Fisher and William Ury For probably the final time, I am writing…

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 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,…

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…

Last Sunday in Edinburgh I took part in a panel on the subject of Intractable Conflict. The principal speaker was Oliver Ramsbotham, Emeritus Professor of Conflict Resolution at the University of Bradford, and author of ‘Transforming Violent Conflict: Radical Disagreement, Dialogue and Survival’ (Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, 2010). He described a familiar, if depressing, phenomenon in…

Sometimes, I look around at mediation events at a sea of grey hair (mine included!). Where, I wonder, are those to whom we are handing this torch? And more importantly, what do they think? So as the dust settled on last month’s ICC mediation competition in Paris, I took the chance to capture some of…

The last months of 2012 saw three young girls end their own lives in the Northwest of Ireland. Bullying, particularly via social media, was implicated in all three deaths. Around the same time but by coincide, a national television programme focused on bullying and its effect on the victims, their families and the bullies themselves….

In this posting I want to reflect on how, as a mediator, I’ve learnt much from the related but independent conflict management process, called conflict coaching. Before I get ahead of myself, however, let me start by offering an explanation of conflict coaching. Conflict coaching is a service provided by a conflict specialist to a…