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….

Offers in mediation are too often approached with all the coyness of gauche teenagers at a school dance (acknowledging that this metaphor may reveal too much about my own youth!). It need not be like this. Here are some thoughts to ease the pain. Going first is not weakness. All mediations require offers to be…

One of the important things that struck me about Dr. Anna Howard’s brilliant research into Mediation is the discovery that the General Counsel she interviewed for her project feel disappointed that the promise of mediation has not been realized. I feel the same disappointment – although my disappointment has a somewhat different source. What seems…

This article was prepared by Christian-Radu Chereji and Constantin-Adi Gavrilă. The monologue situation We have all met the person in our mediations. The one that comes to the table and monopolizes the dialogue, which actually stops being a dialogue and turns into a long, ineffective monologue. And it goes on and on, with no end…

In the 1930’s anthropologist Gregory Bateson developed the concept of Schismogenesis – the creation of division. He defined this as ‘a process of differentiation in the norms of individual behaviour resulting from cumulative interaction between individuals’, or groups of individuals. A process of this sort can result in individuals or groups drifting apart, almost becoming mirror…

On the first day of this year the international mediation community lost a wonderful friend and colleague. The memorial page established by his family shows just how wide and deep the affection reaches. He provided memorable experiences to so many of us. And whilst we both certainly remember (and enjoyed) his joie de vivre, the…

To what extent do we have control over our future? There is a lively debate among philosophers, neuroscientists and others (summarised in an article by Oliver Burkman) about the degree to which free will exists, or whether what happens to us is predetermined by what has gone before. Burkman concludes his article with the reminder that:…

Every now and again something happens to cause me to pause and think – or re-think. Recently, I had that experience at a small ruined castle in the heart of Scotland, near a lovely country town called Edzell. Edzell Castle, visited by, among others, Mary Queen of Scots and her son, King James VI of…

Shows forms of dispute resolution and the thick line between mediation and arbitration

Law students are probably familiar with a diagram like the one above. It arranges different ways of resolving disputes according to how much say parties have in the outcome. Much as Felstiner and colleagues (1) famously described disputes being transformed into court cases through ‘naming, blaming and claiming,’ this graphic illustrates a parallel transformation in…