This is the first in a short series of how parties and advisers can best deploy the “assets” at their disposal in a mediation. Naturally, it is written from my perspective as a mediator, and so I recognise that it may look different when you are representing one side in a mediation, rather than in…

“Hi, I’m Rick. I’m your mediator for today. I can’t decide what happens in this dumb dispute or how you resolve issues. My job is just to help people who are incapable of resolving conflict, like yourselves, find areas that you can agree on. That means I get to control what appears in the messages,…

“All changed, changed utterly, A terrible beauty is born.” – W B Yeats, “Easter 1916” “Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.” ― Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness…

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…

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…

You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone. Al Capone This popular quote attributed to the famous US mobster announce the use of force and other dirty tricks in negotiation. I do not especially like it. I would relativise it by the following…

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…

Writing a post in the aftermath of what happened on Friday, the 24th of June 2016, is an opportunity to reflect on what it takes to conduct an effective mediation process, and above all a constructive dialogue. Clearly this post is an insight on my own personal reflections to date. With the weeks ahead, I…

  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…