I am not really one for elevator pitches. But I did hear one the other day about creating impact in a very short space of time, and I was struck by its relevance to mediation. Essentially, the message was that the people we meet make up their minds about us based on two key criteria,…

I blogged recently on the importance in mediation of not forgetting what is happening in the other room. It’s an easy mistake to make. Here’s another one that is easy to make. “Assumed motivation”. A lot of stuff happens both in conflicts and the process of their resolution. Things are said and done by each…

At a certain point, when another offer was denied, one of the managers showed a real disappointment with the hard negotiation approach presented by the other party: “You know what?! I lost my patience. I will not sit here any further… I will ask my lawyer to finish the formalities and let’s see each other…

“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill Improving Habit of Thinking The popular quote attributed to the former British prime minister is easily adaptable to mediation. The optimistic mediator considers the mediated settlement probable and helps the parties by spreading the friendly and promising…

(This post is being republished because of technical problems when it was first published). Thanks to Martin Svatos, for pointing out in his recent blog a number of cases where mediators or would-be mediators feature in popular films. That set me thinking … A few years ago, I offered a workshop on mediation based on…

Despite some scepticism about the value of “roleplay” most mediation training involves asking people to run a pretend mediation session. I’ve tried various euphemisms to ease trainees’ anxiety – “skills practice”, “simulation”, “sitting with conflict” – but none seems to make it any less daunting. You can read about this activity, watch others do it,…

“Caminante, no hay camino, se hace camino al andar” “Traveller, there is no path, the path must be forged as you walk.” Antonio Machado, as quoted and translated in Daring Greatly, Brene Brown Those were two very long and eventful days. Though the prospect of reaching an agreement appeared remote – at best – at…

Another teaching year has ended and the last session’s review and goal setting for the future has thrown up the same questions it does every year, or indeed as does the end of every mediation training course. Many of these start with what if? What if I…do something wrong…make a mess of it…go blank…say the…

We got off on the wrong foot right from the start. It was a boat building case and the detail was overwhelming. Too many gudgeons, pintles and bulwarks and by the time we got to a 3 day hearing, it had become the most toxic professional relationship with a counterpart lawyer of my young career. A day…

On the last day of the year, like many of you, I find myself reflecting on the events of the past 12 months, the highs and lows, the tensions and the takeaways. Here is one of the takeaways. In January this year I spent a day hiking through some spectacular scenery in Hong Kong. We…