Days after June’s UK Brexit Referendum, US Secretary of State John Kerry advised that: It is absolutely essential that we stay focused on how, in this transitional period, nobody looses their head, nobody goes off half-cocked, people don’t start ginning up scatterbrained or revengeful premises. Yet since then prominent voices on both sides have engaged…

The Olympics have come and gone with all of the emotion and inspiration they bring. In our recent, fully-subscribed, residential Summer School on mediation skills for leaders, we reflected on the learning from Rio. We watched a video replay of the men’s taekwondo -80kg final in which Team GB’s Lutalo Muhammad lost to his Ivory…

  Perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised by the whole Brexit affair. I’m not talking about the result of the vote itself, but about the referendum process, the behaviour it engendered, and its aftermath. All the classic features were present. Classic features of what? Well, of binary processes. Those that offer a win/lose, yes/no, remain/leave…

“Caminante, no hay camino, se hace camino al andar” “Traveller, there is no path, the path must be forged as you walk.” Antonio Machado, as quoted and translated in Daring Greatly, Brene Brown Those were two very long and eventful days. Though the prospect of reaching an agreement appeared remote – at best – at…

I begin with two poetic images. One is from an 8th century Taoist poem – I asked the boy beneath the pines. He said, “The master’s gone alone Herb-picking somewhere on the mount, Cloud-hidden, whereabouts unknown.” [Chia Tao (777-841)] And the other, more recent, from W H Auden’s poem “Law Like Love”: And always the…

“Stand by your devices”; or “Access through the [virtual] looking glass” I take the first phrase of this blog title from a throw-away line in one of the recent comments by a student in my current Negotiation and Mediation class. The context is this: my university has implemented an Emergency Preparedness Teaching and Learning [EPTL]…

To the extent that a mediator’s job involves listening to people complain and engage in negative behaviour, mediators face a serious mental health hazard. Research shows that listening to ongoing negativity impairs the brain function of the listener. Yes! Listening can be bad for you if you have a whinging party in the room, and…

With the summer going on, many mediation practitioners are enjoying well deserved holidays. Yet for some of them, even this period of year is time for some pondering over dispute resolution. Should you be one of them, you may find the story of two half-brothers in ancient Greece as an interesting hint. This is the…

“The worst sin towards our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that’s the essence of inhumanity.” The Devil’s Disciple, Act II (1901). G B Shaw I ended my previous blog post [http://kluwermediationblog.com/2015/05/26/the-mediator-as-ethicist/] by saying that there were a couple of aspects of ethics and mediation – beyond the…

John Nash died this week, in a tragic car accident. John Nash was the Nobel-prize winning mathematician whose theory of non-cooperative games published in 1950 has been described as one of the top ten ideas in economics in the 20th century. His theory introduced and explored the concept of what is known as Nash equilibrium….