A number of recent mediations have reaffirmed some essentials which I share here in the hope that they might be helpful to others: It’s not all about the money. Mr A had a very substantial claim against a bank running into hundreds of thousands of pounds Sterling, most of his life savings. When I asked…

“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…

Last week I was reading an essay by the American novelist Jonathan Franzen, and was struck by the following thought: “The essay’s roots are in literature, and literature at its best […] invites you to ask whether you might be somewhat wrong, maybe even entirely wrong, and to imagine why someone else might hate you.”…

I was again privileged to be at the ICC International Commercial Mediation Competition in early February, which this time included a new event – an intergenerational round table, workshops for student and professional participants together. It began with an hour of dialogue around one table, where participants were asked to generate and discuss questions for…

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…

This entry is an ongoing series focused on using Neuro-Linguistic Programming in our practice of amicable dispute resolution. For ease of reference and the convenience of readers, I will list in this and subsequent entries the series and links to it. 1. A Neuro-Linguist’s Toolbox – A Starting Point and Building Rapport 2. A Neuro-Linguist’s…

It was a phrase I’d imagined silently echoing in the minds of parties, co-mediators and solicitors, but this was the only time I had heard it vocalized. It was uttered during one of my first coordinator roles in the civil courts of Scotland, where my role was to inform and promote the services of the…

On first of January 2019, Jair Bolsonaro became Brazil’s 38th President. After years of economic, political and even a social crisis in Brazil, the right wing politician has the mission of unifying the country after the most polarized elections in our history. Similarly to what is happening in other parts of the world, the new…

“As they sometimes say around Kyoto, ‘Don’t just do something. Sit there.’” The Art of Stillness, Pico Iyer Recently I had the good fortune of watching fellow blogger, John Sturrock QC, mediate. In the days which have followed, I’ve been reflecting on what I learnt from observing the mediation. What helped the parties in this…