When I first started getting seriously interested in mediation over ten years ago, the thought struck me that ‘Shades of Grey’ might be a good name for an organisation involved in this field. Thankfully, given a subsequent publication and film, I didn’t pursue it any further – although if I’d registered the domain name it…

“I hold to the idea that civility, understood as the willingness to engage in public discourse, is the first virtue of citizens.” Mark Kingwell, The World We Want: Restoring Citizenship in a Fractured Age, [Rowman & Littlefield, 2000] A recent email from a US-based group that specialises in facilitating public dialogues in difficult cases noted…

My colleague and fellow Kluwer author Charlie Woods has likened my scatter-gun approach to starting new projects and coming up with new ideas to “guerrilla gardening”. I am sure he means it as a compliment. Some ideas take seed…. So, here is another seed. Just a week or two ago, I was reading a (UK)…

Bloomberg (not my usual reading fodder, I confess) carried an interesting piece a couple of months ago, entitled “Meet the Real Force Behind the Brexit Talks”. Yes, it was about Brexit (yawn) but it was about an unseen side of the negotiations. Opening with the line “In every negotiation the most important work is done…

“Odd as it may seem, I am my remembering self, and the experiencing self, who does my living, is like a stranger to me.” (Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow, (2011: 390) This blog arises from my recent reading of Dr Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal: Illness, Medicine, and What Matters in the End (2014). This might…

(This post is being republished because of technical problems when it was first published). I want to use this month’s blog to riff off Greg Bond’s recent insightful blog, because he’s touched on core issues of language, making sense and personal reflection. That post arrived almost in the wake of an email quoting jazz pianist…

In some mediations, I ask myself why people so resolutely retain their anger, their bitterness, or their hurt for such long periods of time. Often mediation takes place only after a conflict has escalated and hardened and been going on for a while, in some cases many years. If feelings of anger and bitterness persist…

It’s not easy to blog once a month, even on a subject I love. Often I sit down to write with no real ideas or inspiration. Sometimes I end up that way too (as you may have noticed!). It becomes easy to dread the approach of my monthly publication date. Often the pressure lies in…

Many of my fellow bloggers on these pages, and perhaps many of the readers, will have found themselves in the position in which friends, colleagues, workmates or others call on your/our mediation experience at short notice, and in circumstances that are perhaps not ideal in terms of planning and preparation. One of the strategies I…

– “You will cut the damn tree down”, one neighbour said. – “Not a chance!” answered the other. – “In that case, I have nothing else to tell you…” – “As you wish…we may also sit here in silence…” Having said that, both parties crossed their arms, backed in their chairs and stared at each…