It’s been a long time since I wrote a blog just about mediation practice. Other things always seem more important! However, as I was mediating this week, a thought occurred to me about a rather imperceptible but very real change in my practice as a mediator, which I develop here, albeit in a simplified way….

Offers in mediation are too often approached with all the coyness of gauche teenagers at a school dance (acknowledging that this metaphor may reveal too much about my own youth!). It need not be like this. Here are some thoughts to ease the pain. Going first is not weakness. All mediations require offers to be…

Negotiators in a mediation

It’s been a while since I wrote about practical tips for mediators. Yet when I ask people what they want from training or teaching the commonest answer is… practical tips. I offer some below on working with parties who take cold feet just as resolution is approaching. I was recently asked to speak with lawyers…

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…