For a while now some of my mediations and facilitations have been taking place again in physical spaces, while others remain virtual, as does most of my teaching and training. The effects of Corona are still very much determining how people come together to work. Having got used to the virtual world, I am now…

I was puzzled to get an email from a mediator thanking me for my recent post, which advocated using a unified conceptual framework of unbundled mediation interventions. The puzzling part was that she wrote that it helped to “validate my theory that ‘bundling’ of mediation models can be appropriate and effective in the right case…

Graffiti commenting on truth and its usefulness today

I started mediating in my early 30s, surely old enough to know the difference between truth and fiction. Yet after a couple of years I began to say, first to myself then to my friends, that the concept of truth was ‘no longer useful’ in my work. What did I mean and how did I…

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,…

” . . . how are we to deal with this grief? People might react with despair, sadness, frustration, lack of control, hopelessness, and even apathy. It’s understandable, given the enormity of the destruction taking place. It’s understandable to feel powerless when faced with the news of another whale dying, another forest being decimated, or…

The process of discerning what to write about in a blog is interesting. Sometimes inspiration comes quickly. On other occasions, there is a barren wilderness, or a hotchpotch of half-formed ideas. This month feels like the last of these. I thought to write about a really excellent new book by the Oxford economists, Paul Collier…

I wrote this piece for Strathclyde Mediation Clinic after a series of conversations with new and learner mediators. Some surprised me with their passivity in the face of parties’ lack of knowledge or understanding. After some probing I learned that many new mediators recognise the problem but believe the model they were taught prohibits them…

The importance of gaze

‘Because you’re distant, forgive me for being a little bit bossy’ (Paddy O’Connell, BBC Radio 4’s Broadcasting House) After plying their trade for a while mediators (and broadcasters) develop a persona, not so much bolted on as inhabited. Once in ‘the chair,’ voice, posture and gestures all coalesce to support their purpose and, with minimal…

Do Black Lives Matter

“Racially discriminatory behavior may be reduced more effectively when racial issues are made salient rather than ignored or obscured.” (1) This week I’ve been thinking about white privilege. Ok, my white privilege. Like much of the planet I was horrified by the casual, almost routine asphyxiation of George Floyd. I wasn’t surprised by protest and…

Going online is an opportunity to rethink old ways and try out new ones. For mediators, trainers, coaches, and teachers. Professionally the crisis can be an opportunity. While of course also a threat, with loss of business and income in many sectors, including mediation, facilitation and coaching. The competition for work may become tougher. This…