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…

While it is obvious that law is significant in legal disputes, how the law is used is not so obvious. This piece uses Oliver Wendell Holmes’s famous definition of the law as “prophecies of what the courts will do in fact,” rather than rules expressed in statutes, case law etc. It discusses two aspects of…

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…

This is the first in a short series of how parties and advisers can best deploy the “assets” at their disposal in a mediation. Naturally, it is written from my perspective as a mediator, and so I recognise that it may look different when you are representing one side in a mediation, rather than in…

“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,…

Today I want to talk about why mediators should care about EVO Moment #37. For those of you new to the eSports (“electronic sports”) scene, there is an annual tournament, the Evolution Championship Series (“EVO”), that focuses exclusively on fighting games. Such games typically have players battle each other with unique characters, with the first…

Negotiation teachers often scratch their heads looking for scenarios to engage students – something realistic, complex and with high enough stakes to motivate participants. Recently it came to me that we in the UK are sitting on a negotiation goldmine. The Brexit negotiations are certainly real, arguably the most complex we’ve ever undertaken and have…

This post riffs on Elvis Costello’s “What’s So Funny Bout Peace, Love and Understanding?” to probe the usefulness of the words “trust” and “respect” in mediation. Invitation Mediators the world over are taught to invite their clients to speak. We’re not there to tell people what to do; rather to ask them what they want…

Tackling the cause of a dispute requires attention to detail. Often the real problem is lost in translation. Turning the fall out into legal definitions is the first step but it most certainly is not the most important as the law is only a component in a dispute and rarely provides an answer to it….