It’s been a long time since I wrote a blog just about mediation practice. Other things always seem more important! However, as I was mediating this week, a thought occurred to me about a rather imperceptible but very real change in my practice as a mediator, which I develop here, albeit in a simplified way….

One of the great joys of being part of the world-wide mediation community is the  opportunity to learn and keep learning from professionals whose practice is far from homogeneous. The generosity in sharing thoughts, ideas and even intellectual property is remarkable. Despite this, there is still a lot about the practice of mediation that is…

Kleros is a cryptocurrency dispute resolution platform. It uses crypto tokens and game theory to resolve real-world disputes. It follows an automated process with no discussion, no nuance, no probing questions. It seems to be at the opposite end of the dispute resolution spectrum to mediation. Yet I think there is something that mediators can…

A mediation ended without amicable agreement. The parties had reached that understanding only. It had taken several sessions over several weeks, with plenty of recrimination about the past that further damaged already damaged relationships. At least there was clarity. The consequences were clear too. It was not the preferred solution. What did this do with…

Graffiti commenting on truth and its usefulness today

I started mediating in my early 30s, surely old enough to know the difference between truth and fiction. Yet after a couple of years I began to say, first to myself then to my friends, that the concept of truth was ‘no longer useful’ in my work. What did I mean and how did I…

In a few weeks’ time I will come to the end of a two-year mediation engagement in South Eastern Europe. The conflict in question relates to environmental pollution. The issues are complex and heavily contested, and there are many stakeholders – government, city authorities, environmental groups, investors and business, to name a few. It has…

The Harvard Program on Negotiation (PON) has provided a life-changing experience for many of us. It certainly changed the trajectory of my life and triggered a life-long immersion in conflict resolution theory and practice. I am immensely grateful. The program has been an evolutionary one – regularly enhanced and updated to fit the frame of…

I write this in the aftermath of yet another mediation in which the protagonists exhibited symptoms of having been seriously traumatised by the litigation process to which they had been exposed. Depression, suicidal thoughts, anger, loathing, destroyed relationships, large amounts of money spent with no discernible value. And this was a commercial situation, not a…

Sometimes I wonder what the facilitation and mediation work I do is all about. By which I mean what purpose does it perform for clients. What is it that they are asking for from me, and what is it that they actually get? Do they always really want what they are ostensibly asking for? Do…

One of the positive aspects of the enforced changes brought about by lockdown is that it enables – or compels – us to try new things. So far, I’ve learned how to create and have issued 13 podcasts, the idea being to spread ideas as widely as possible at this crucial time. After much procrastination,…