“Hi, I’m Rick. I’m your mediator for today. I can’t decide what happens in this dumb dispute or how you resolve issues. My job is just to help people who are incapable of resolving conflict, like yourselves, find areas that you can agree on. That means I get to control what appears in the messages,…

good mediation seen through a client's lens

“Like poets, but with less time” The Deep End Getting to grips with mediation can leave students and trainees overwhelmed. That favourite training tool, the roleplay, throws most in at the deep end. The sudden immersion forces them to speak, listen and observe while trying to remember models and skills plus a sea of reading…

You are usually at a disadvantage for you will take over the boat in midst of the conflict storm without having the chance to prepare the crew and to check on the ship. Yet you are charged to navigate the vessel through all perils of misunderstandings, mistrust, and perceptions. It takes time to make sure…

I wish to add to Michael Leathes’ recent post on his suggestion that more field-based research be done into the mediation product and Rick Weiler’s follow-up. There are really two distinct questions here. One relates to whether, with enough real-world research, we can put mediation in a nice box with a ribbon around it and…

Michael Leathes in his recent  thought provoking post argues for the need for more “field-based” mediation research by which he means actual observations of the live action by skilled researchers.  He poses the questions: “Has the mediation world spent too long developing lab-based facts to suit its theories? Might it start to hone new theories…

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…

In Australia we have long experience of compulsory mediation prior to litigation in cases where a presumed power imbalance exists – such as retail tenancy and farm debt disputes. However, compulsory mediation by order of a court has been a controversial topic, particularly amongst judges, most of whom do not have actual mediation experience and…

Try this thought experiment: imagine a mediator without empathy. How and what would they do? Would there be drawbacks? Benefits? The response to these questions probably depends on our own experience of empathy. This simple yet often misunderstood term masks a complex and fascinating set of ideas about human connection. Because we believe empathy is…

In the forty years since new visions and challenges for the administration of American justice were offered at the 1976 Pound Conference, a Quiet Revolution has altered the landscape of public and private dispute resolution around the world. (See Living the Dream of ADR). Recently, a series of day-long meetings styled as the Global Pound…

During the last twenty years, mediation has spread around the world with an amazing speed, resulting in what was called a ‘global ADR revolution’. Furthermore, mediation has become a conventional part of the court reform projects supported by international donor organizations within democracy aid programmes in developing and transitional countries all over the world. However,…