March was a sad month for Singapore. On 23 March 2015, Mr. Lee Kuan Yew passed away at the age of 91. Lee Kuan Yew was a controversial figure. He was the first Prime Minister of Singapore and he was also widely considered as the founding father of Singapore. He was well-regarded by many world…

Abraham path was the idea of William Ury and his Harvard colleagues. The idea was to follow in the footsteps of Abraham which is the origin story of the Middle East. The origin story can be phrased: ‘4,000 years ago, a man and his family walked across the Middle East, and the world has never…

I have written before on this blog about ‘mediating from the neck up’: my conviction that I was taught (and teach) a rationalistic, even cerebral, process that privileges thought over emotion and language over movement (see http://kluwermediationblog.com/2013/12/13/mediating-from-the-neck-up/ ). As I acknowledged at the time, having this insight and doing something about it are two quite…

I have been reflecting recently on the individual and collective professional journeys we all undertake – and on the different stages we reach. My reading has taken me to a thought-provoking book by theologian Richard Rohr, entitled Falling Upward. Rohr’s thesis, put very simply, is that there are two stages to life. The first, necessary,…

Like many of us, I listened with rapt attention to the reporting from Geneva of the Syrian peace talks last week. So much is at stake. And so much of it feels very familiar to me as a mediator. One particularly interesting item was a radio interview last Saturday with a Syrian media officer who…

I recently had the pleasure of attending the Tan Pan [谈判 means “Negotiation” in mandarin] Symposium held in Hong Kong from 1-2 November 2013. This was organized by the International Institute for Conflict Engagement and Resolution (IICER) of the Hong Kong Shue Yan University. This symposium saw the launch of the Tan Pan Journal and…

Mediators deal in words – not exclusively, but a great deal (and perhaps sometimes too much, but that’s another blog). So it pays for us to think carefully about what words really mean. A couple of years ago, I came across an article entitled “US facilitation yes, mediation no: Omar”. It detailed how Pakistan, through…

I should state at the outset that I have a confession to make. Not quite yet but soon. As a long term practitioner and teacher of negotiation and mediation, it has occurred to me on many occasions that much of the conflict, trouble and strife that we experience, whether at an interpersonal level or international…