“You’ve done what?” It took just a moment. The red mist descended. The words were out before I could haul them back in. “You’ve just gone behind my back and undermined what I set out, and we had agreed, we would do….you might at least have had the courtesy…..” The lawyer had just told me…

Photo credit: Creative Commons Jean M.Mas 2/2007 Although my mediation training made no mention of it, 32 years of mediating have taught me that mediations generally unfold over two stages: Stage 1: “Who Did What to Whom”? Here parties (or their lawyers) follow the ritual of naming, blaming and claiming – recounting facts, providing evidence…

Photo credit: Christof Häuser, via Nathalie Birli We mediators are accustomed to recognising empathy as an important part of our mediation repertoire which is consistently reinforced in our training and professional development. It is front of mind for many of us as we plan for and conduct our mediations. This blog has seen its fair…

Values drive practice

(I first wrote about mediation’s values 12 years ago at the tail end of a Masters in Conflict Resolution and Mediation Studies.(1) Two years of study had convinced me that it is our values, rather than the techniques we learn, that tell us what to do and say when when mediating. The intervening years haven’t…

Despite efforts over the last 20 years to promote mediation and the roles of the mediator at EU level, mediation is very, very little used. This result is observed even after implementation of large-scale promotion projects and education programs regarding the benefits of mediation for the health of relationships between people, groups, companies, states, and…

The Japan International Mediation Center in Kyoto (JIMC-Kyoto), which is the first Japanese international mediation centre, was officially launched on 20 November 2018. The centre has a panel of non-resident international mediators. Kyoto, the former Imperial capital of Japan, is a city rich in culture. As one of the non-resident mediators, I am interested to…

“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language; And next year’s words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.” T S Eliot, The Four Quartets, “Little Gidding” “Perhaps the most terrible (or wonderful) thing that can happen to an imaginative youth, aside from the curse (or blessing) of…

Formality and informality

Place matters It’s good to see authors on this blog referencing academic research – see Rick Weiler’s recent post on decision-making. Similarly, a new chapter by Singapore judicial mediator Dorcas Quek Anderson (1) has got me thinking about the old chestnut of formality and informality. Anderson considers the impact on people and processes of the…

Does the currently predominant model of commercial mediation – a single session of 3 or 6 hours – support good decision-making by litigants? Some doubt is cast by recent Canadian scholarship dealing with the psychological costs of litigation. In their 2017 paper, Anticipating and Managing the Psychological Costs of Civil Litigation, authors Michaela Keet, Heather…

This is the first in a short series of how parties and advisers can best deploy the “assets” at their disposal in a mediation. Naturally, it is written from my perspective as a mediator, and so I recognise that it may look different when you are representing one side in a mediation, rather than in…