It was just a few moments. “You can’t play on our course without proper golf shoes.” “But we played here two days ago in these shoes.” “My colleague must have made a mistake”. “But it was you who let us play…”. “It’s in our rules.” “Where?” “Here.” “No it’s not. There is nothing about soft…

I am interested in convergence – of ideas, of behaviour, of trends, of different disciplines. The more I read, the more common themes I discern in the arts, science, spirituality, leadership and in what we do as mediators. A reflection of this is found in the African concept of ubuntu, “the profound sense that we…

This is where I did my best work in Christmas week – in the twilight zone between the joint session room to the right of the water cooler and the private caucus room off to the left by the green bins. Corridors can be furtive and risky spaces on mediation days – ‘don’t ask me…

There are times in mediation when emotions are so powerful that it’s impossible to think of anything else. This week I witnessed, at the very least, despair, fear, anger, hurt, sadness, care, love and relief. They can be fleeting – a flicker of amusement, a nod of recognition, a disdainful glance. Or they can be…

Mediators deal in words – not exclusively, but a great deal (and perhaps sometimes too much, but that’s another blog). So it pays for us to think carefully about what words really mean. A couple of years ago, I came across an article entitled “US facilitation yes, mediation no: Omar”. It detailed how Pakistan, through…

While these mediations are commercial at heart, they beat with a cultural pulse and there is a sense of majesty as the Crown sits down to kōrero with Iwi … gather around, for the history of the real Middle Earth is not one of hobbits and magical rings, but of a people struggling to coexist in a…

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…