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…

Readers who are experts on the wartime British Prime Minister or have recently watched “The Darkest Hour” may find the above caption familiar. Yes, it has been inspired by Winston Churchill’s famous quote “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” If you like the caption, feel…

This post is based on the research of two professional communities – mediators and dialogue facilitators – in Ukraine (see the research article) and poses a few preliminary questions that require deeper thinking and more research. Although the fieldwork for my article was done in Ukraine, I was told that similar developments are also noticeable…

“It was impossible to get a good conversation going; everybody was talking too much. ” Yogi Berra I use the word “odd” here in two of its meanings in English: odd as in occasional or sporadic; and odd as in strange, worthy of comment. This blog is a reflection on recent conversations observed or engaged…

Christmas Spirit in Air It is hard to miss that the Christmas is coming, especially if you live in this part of the world. The streets of both major cities and smallest villages are decorated, the trees’ candles lit up and everybody is carrying lots of presents in public transport. If you are lucky enough,…

Readers might have seen media reports that New Zealand has a new government. In New Zealand this is a slightly delayed conclusion to the general election at the end of September, the delay being the result of our proportional representation system, which left neither of the two major parties, Labour and National, with a sufficient…

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…

Previous blog entries on this theme of water have focussed primarily on the process and stalled progress of the Land and Water Forum [LWF] in New Zealand. This was a process intended to bring together most if not all of the stakeholders on questions of water allocation and quality. As we’ve seen earlier, what looked…