To the extent that a mediator’s job involves listening to people complain and engage in negative behaviour, mediators face a serious mental health hazard. Research shows that listening to ongoing negativity impairs the brain function of the listener. Yes! Listening can be bad for you if you have a whinging party in the room, and…

In February 2015, the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution organized and ran the Asia Pacific International Mediation Summit in New Delhi, India. I had the honour of presenting at a number of sessions at the summit and I would like to explore one of those sessions in this month’s entry. I was part…

My wife and I recently spent a very convivial evening at the beautiful home in Sydney of leading Australian mediator Alan Limbury and his wife, Dr. Rosemary Howell, who coaches a team from the University of New South Wales in the annual ICC mediation competition. One topic which stimulated some forthright conversation was the use…

Is it true that as we get older, we tend to forget things more easily? Or is it that some things are just less important? As negotiators and mediators, we often deal with complex layers of information that appear all too much for any one person to recall. So we enter the negotiation room burdened…

It’s funny how one thing leads to another. Regular Kluwer blogger Ian Macduff posted a great blog earlier this week on the importance of asking questions. That reminded me that I had intended to get hold of a book by Edgar Schein entitled “Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling”. So, I…

As 2014 comes to an end, it is good to reflect. How privileged many of us are. I often remark to others that my “job” is better than “real work”. What do I mean when I say that? As mediators, we have an extraordinary window through which we view life, other people and what happens…

At this time of annual reflection, I always feel it is worth looking back and picking out some of the better readings and materials I have come across over the past number of months. My father recently said he wished he had been in possession of a wheel barrow when visiting Harvard University’s bookstore, and…

“The key to doing well lies not in overcoming others, but in eliciting their co-operation.” Robert Axelrod “Although negotiation takes place every day, it is not easy to do well. Standard strategies for negotiation often leave people dissatisfied, worn out or alienated…..” Roger Fisher and William Ury For probably the final time, I am writing…

It was just a few moments. “You can’t play on our course without proper golf shoes.” “But we played here two days ago in these shoes.” “My colleague must have made a mistake”. “But it was you who let us play…”. “It’s in our rules.” “Where?” “Here.” “No it’s not. There is nothing about soft…