One of the most enjoyable aspects of the festive season is receiving and reading books that one might not have come across otherwise. This year, I have been enjoying two quite contrasting works of literature. The first is a Manual for Spectrum Agents (Haynes Publishing) providing “detailed information about the Spectrum organisation”, based on the…

“You’ve done what?” It took just a moment. The red mist descended. The words were out before I could haul them back in. “You’ve just gone behind my back and undermined what I set out, and we had agreed, we would do….you might at least have had the courtesy…..” The lawyer had just told me…

Photo credit: Creative Commons Jean M.Mas 2/2007 Although my mediation training made no mention of it, 32 years of mediating have taught me that mediations generally unfold over two stages: Stage 1: “Who Did What to Whom”? Here parties (or their lawyers) follow the ritual of naming, blaming and claiming – recounting facts, providing evidence…

At a certain point, when another offer was denied, one of the managers showed a real disappointment with the hard negotiation approach presented by the other party: “You know what?! I lost my patience. I will not sit here any further… I will ask my lawyer to finish the formalities and let’s see each other…

Photo credit: Christof Häuser, via Nathalie Birli We mediators are accustomed to recognising empathy as an important part of our mediation repertoire which is consistently reinforced in our training and professional development. It is front of mind for many of us as we plan for and conduct our mediations. This blog has seen its fair…

Despite efforts over the last 20 years to promote mediation and the roles of the mediator at EU level, mediation is very, very little used. This result is observed even after implementation of large-scale promotion projects and education programs regarding the benefits of mediation for the health of relationships between people, groups, companies, states, and…

Being a mediator brings surprises along the way. For me, I was presented with what turned out to be the biggest challenge of my professional career last November when the Cabinet Secretary for Health in Scotland appointed me to conduct a review of allegations made by staff (through whistle-blowers) of bullying and harassment in Scotland’s…

The Japan International Mediation Center in Kyoto (JIMC-Kyoto), which is the first Japanese international mediation centre, was officially launched on 20 November 2018. The centre has a panel of non-resident international mediators. Kyoto, the former Imperial capital of Japan, is a city rich in culture. As one of the non-resident mediators, I am interested to…

In the words of the late Sir Laurence Street, former Chief Justice of New South Wales (1974-1988) and subsequently Australia’s leading mediator: “A court that makes available a judge or a registrar to conduct a true mediation is forsaking a fundamental precept upon which public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the court system…

The word “manipulation” has a bad name. It is usually used to denote devious and underhand behaviour. If we say that someone is being manipulative or that someone is a manipulative person then we are usually disapproving. Mediators are manipulators, and master mediators are master manipulators. I respond here to Rick Weiler’s recent post, in…