“For nobody would understand, And you kill what you fear, And you fear what you don’t understand.” Powerful words. As a progressive rock music aficionado, these lyrics taken from the song “Duke’s Travels” by my favourite band, Genesis, have often brought me up short as I listen to the album from which they come, 1980’s…

“Across the great divide, Just grab your hat and take that ride” – The Band, 1969 (written by Robbie Robertson) We have all had those conversations or exchanges after which we’ve wished we had thought of a further point to make, a rebuttal of the other’s claim we only later thought of, a way of…

Music and art make continuing and surprising contributions to Dispute Resolution. Greg Bond’s June Blog, written as a means of keeping his promise to write about the Beatles, shared lyrics that gave conflict a new voice. Synchronicity has been at work and suddenly the Beatles lyrics are getting a lot of exposure in the conflict…

“In negotiations of all kinds, the greater your capacity for empathy – the more carefully you try to understand all of the other side’s motivations, interests and constraints – the more options you tend to have for potentially resolving the dispute or deadlock.” These are wise words from negotiation guru, Deepak Malhotra of Harvard Business…

I am sorry for writing about Brexit again here. It is not as if Brexit matters that much. To readers of this blog outside of Europe perhaps not all. But I cannot resist it. I was thinking about writing about the Beatles and The Rolling Stones – arguably equally as UK-centric as Brexit. Well, I…

“If you had not held us back that evening, the deal would not have been done.” “Thank you and I wish you well.” In this post, I return to a familiar theme for mediators and for lawyers acting for clients in mediation: perseverance. The first of the two quotations above comes from a participant in…

(Written with Advocate Karleen De Mello, Goa, India) I was recently witness to a mediation session during which two seasoned negotiators behaved disappointingly. Why? On the other side was a negotiator, who walked in with a cane, accompanied by her lawyer. From the outset, these two experienced negotiators behaved very awkwardly at the table, with one…

Early in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s 1891 short story A Scandal in Bohemia, Sherlock Holmes gives Watson a lecture on the difference between seeing and observing. To test how well Watson understood, Holmes hands him an unaddressed, undated, anonymous letter that had just arrived on the doormat. It announced that an unnamed visitor would shortly…

The old guy smiled. His old Corsican eyes showed some understanding…: “How much do you have?” -“I have a ten euro bill and we are leaving tomorrow…” – “OK, boy, deal…but no receipt, right?” Not understanding the shadow economy at the time, I accepted without knowing why is he not willing to give me a…