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…

Like many of us I am constantly torn between simplicity and complexity. The world is complex: that’s a given. But a beautiful morning or a lover’s kiss is simplicity itself, and it’s a fool who overcomplicates it. And so with mediation, the profession/activity/vocation that has grown on me like a skin these last nineteen years….

This blog is inspired by a page from Monty Python’s ‘Big Red Book’ entitled ‘Why Accountancy is Not Boring.’ (Apologies to those who have not come across the Pythons’ rather English form of humour – for the original piece see http://arago4.tnw.utwente.nl/stonedead/publications/sketches/accountancy.html) Apologies too to accountants everywhere who, in the 1970’s, were probably as easy a…