Much has been written about the impact of body language on communication. I have in a previous entry addressed the connection between non-verbal communication and the building of rapport. While body language is the commonly used term, I prefer the term non-verbal communication for two reasons. First, the term “body language” is a metaphor that…

[Author’s Warning: This entry involves references to and discussions about the system of Cartesian Coordinates and how it might assist mediators in reality testing and reframing. Readers with a Math Phobia are advised to proceed with cautious abandonment.] [Author’s postscript: As I finish writing this, it becomes increasingly clear to me that some readers may…

It is trite that one of key tasks of a mediator is to sort out what Patton, Stone and Heen in their book “Difficult Conversations” refer to as the “What Happened” conversation. Although they write about this and two other conversations in the context of negotiation, their insights are pertinent to mediators as well. One…

I’m not often drawn to practical tips. I once discovered that I am an “activist” learner. This apparently means that I learn best when “thrown in at the deep end” and less well when “absorbing and understanding data” (see http://archive.excellencegateway.org.uk/page.aspx?o=152477 for a description of learning styles and http://www.peterhoney.com for a self-evaluation test). It perhaps explains…

I read a long time ago that lessons for life can be found everywhere as long as we look for them. As with many of these quotes that we read, my response was to nod sagaciously, file it away for future reference and then forget all about it. I was driving the other day, about…

I have in previous posts referred to the distinction between direct and indirect forms of communication. Mediators will certainly have encountered these forms of communication before. Without seeking to offer a comprehensive or technical definition of what direct and indirect communication is, I would like to share some thoughts on this topic. First, it is…

I recall in the early days of mediation practice it seemed like one of the hardest interventions to make – to be standing in front of a room full of people and have to create a coherent whiteboard out of their discussion. The humble whiteboard has been used for every conceivable task in the mediation room –…

The term “ADR” is certainly familiar to not just those of us in the teaching and practice of mediation, but legal practitioners as well. In this post, I want to share some thoughts about the evolving nature of the “A” in ADR and how this is both reflective of the changes that have occurred in…

Mediation doesn’t require special premises. It can be conducted in any type of place. There are Native Title mediations for Indigenous Australians that can happen at least in part on the land in question, under a tree or on a hill side. Mediations in the workplace often happen in the place where the dispute originally…

Picture a group of 30 trial lawyers in an almost empty room, loudly chanting, ‘Big Booty, Big Booty, Big Booty!’ Now imagine a pair of them trying to have a conversation without using the letter ‘S’. How about two of them vying for the attention of a third by, at turns, singing, crying, jumping up…