The legendary cellist Pablo Casals was once asked why he continued to practice at the age of 90. “Because” he replied, “I think I’m making progress”. It is an extraordinary acknowledgement from a man widely regarded as one of the greatest ever cellists. Let’s be clear – Casals was a colossus in his world. Fritz…

I have been reflecting recently on the individual and collective professional journeys we all undertake – and on the different stages we reach. My reading has taken me to a thought-provoking book by theologian Richard Rohr, entitled Falling Upward. Rohr’s thesis, put very simply, is that there are two stages to life. The first, necessary,…

Regular readers of this blog may recall my 10 tips for participants who took part in the recent ICC Commercial Mediation Competition held in Paris – a wonderful time was had by all but that’s for another post. One of those tips was about keeping it real and suggesting a ‘steel fist inside a velvet glove’…

Like many of us, I listened with rapt attention to the reporting from Geneva of the Syrian peace talks last week. So much is at stake. And so much of it feels very familiar to me as a mediator. One particularly interesting item was a radio interview last Saturday with a Syrian media officer who…

In my last post (http://kluwermediationblog.com/2013/11/27/space-pace-grace-and-face-steps-to-an-ecology-of-mediation/) I started to think out loud about the elements that might contribute to the “ecology” of mediation – that is, the sense of location, context, or genius loci, that might also serve the substantive ends of mediation. My sub-text there was that there is an ineffable “something” about location and…

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…

Its interesting to me that when you Google “lying” and “mediation” you are redirected to “lying” (as in lying down) and “meditation”. Recently my attention was drawn back to the old issue of deception in mediation. It’s an issue that mediators, lawyers and parties engaged in mediation or negotiation do well to reflect on from…

Here is a confession. I have a theory (in the best traditions of Monty Python). It is totally untested. I am pretty certain that it would not survive rigorous, double-blind trials. It may, however, contain some seeds of insight. My theory – wait for it – is that mediations where one or more of the…