It’s funny how one thing leads to another. Regular Kluwer blogger Ian Macduff posted a great blog earlier this week on the importance of asking questions. That reminded me that I had intended to get hold of a book by Edgar Schein entitled “Humble Inquiry: The Gentle Art of Asking Instead of Telling”. So, I…

(This is the final part of a keynote address to the YMCA Conference “From Reactions to Relations” in Burton on Trent on 20 November 2014.) Having considered what we can’t help noticing about our clients and about conflict I now turn to the tricky business of self-knowledge: what has our unique perspective at the heart…

Once again, we find ourselves on the eve of the annual ICC Commercial Mediation Competition which is about to kick off in Paris, France next week. Last year I posted 10 tips for participants, one of the most important being that mediation remains an oral sport, and the most effective counsel and parties in real…

(This is the second of three parts of a keynote address to the YMCA Conference “From Reactions to Relations” in Burton on Trent on 20 November 2014) Last month I wrote in this blog about the fact that mediators “can’t help noticing” certain things as a result of the work that we do. We are…

(This is the first of three parts of a keynote address to the YMCA Conference “From Reactions to Relations” in Burton on Trent on 20 November 2014) Here’s an interesting phenomenon. When asked to play the part of an adversarial lawyer students have no difficulty. It’s as if the script for this activity is carved…

I am interested in convergence – of ideas, of behaviour, of trends, of different disciplines. The more I read, the more common themes I discern in the arts, science, spirituality, leadership and in what we do as mediators. A reflection of this is found in the African concept of ubuntu, “the profound sense that we…

I write here about two contrasting experiences which have, for me, underscored the richness of the mediation process. In one mediation, involving business partners with an ongoing management issue, one of the protagonists (A) suggested bringing in another partner (D) who was not perceived to be a part of the present problem, simply to observe,…

Whether two employees are fighting or a disgruntled client is on the verge of leaving, you—yes, you—can step in and help solve the problem. Here are some tricks of the trade. Conflict happens. It happens in all areas of business. When your employees spend 40 plus hours together each week, they are bound to run…