Quite often, we hear mediators and mediation trainers using the fable of “Blind Men and an Elephant”, which is a story about several blind persons describing an elephant differently out of their own experience by way of their respective touches of the different parts of the same elephant, to illustrate that a party’s own interpretation…

Bloomberg (not my usual reading fodder, I confess) carried an interesting piece a couple of months ago, entitled “Meet the Real Force Behind the Brexit Talks”. Yes, it was about Brexit (yawn) but it was about an unseen side of the negotiations. Opening with the line “In every negotiation the most important work is done…

“Odd as it may seem, I am my remembering self, and the experiencing self, who does my living, is like a stranger to me.” (Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow, (2011: 390) This blog arises from my recent reading of Dr Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal: Illness, Medicine, and What Matters in the End (2014). This might…

During a trip to Vienna some time ago, I attended the “ICC Commission on Arbitration and ADR Meeting” where I had the opportunity to hear Toby Landau QC, a brilliant barrister and arbitrator from London, speaking about “Unreliable Recollections, False Memories and Witness Testimony”. He explained that memories are changeable and that experiences from past…

It’s not easy to blog once a month, even on a subject I love. Often I sit down to write with no real ideas or inspiration. Sometimes I end up that way too (as you may have noticed!). It becomes easy to dread the approach of my monthly publication date. Often the pressure lies in…

In 1933 Alfred Korzybski wrote: “A map is not the territory it represents, but, if correct, it has a similar structure to the territory, which accounts for its usefulness.” More recently (2006), James Robertson wrote (to reference him once again, this time from ‘The Testament of Gideon Mack’): “We trust in maps because when we…

I was reflecting the other day that in the 25 years that I have been conducting workshops in Negotiation, Mediation and other related areas, most conflict resolution workshops don’t seem to pay a lot of attention to personality preferences and how these can contribute towards conflict. I recently ran a workshop for the Law Society…

I had the privilege of running a workshop with Marcus Lim (Executive Director, Singapore International Mediation Institute) at CDRC Vienna. For those of you who are unfamiliar with CDRC Vienna, it is a law school competition which focuses on components of negotiation, mediation advocacy and mediation. It is in its third year of running, and…

Public Service Warning: This blog post will contain spoilers. If you have not watched Arrival and intend to, please do not read any further. I’m a movie addict. I admit it. And I am ashamed to say that most times, my favourite genre of movies is the “check your brain in at the door shoot…