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…

Last year, I wrote about the Peacemakers’ Initiative and talked a little about its intent, objectives and effect. This year, I want to provide readers, by way of update, a development that is both touching and an indication that things are on the right track. To set the context, the Peacemakers’ Conference is an initiative…

A human resources manager recently asked me for a general list of reasons why a mediation might not settle. While part of me wanted to question the idea of settlement as the goal of mediation (see Alan Gross’s excellent piece ‘Agreement Not the Gold Standard for Mediation – http://www.mediate.com/articles/GrossA3.cfm ) most of me thought this…

The location was the Old Post House in Stafford, a traditional English, allegedly haunted, building with excellent conference facilities, good food and awful coffee. The occasion was World Conflict Resolution Day, this year on 18th October. About 45 mediators from around the world had gathered for a day of lectures on workshops on mediation. The…

The following was written by my colleague and friend, Mariam Zadeh, following her transition as a 9/11 survivor to becoming a private mediator in Los Angeles: One who refuses to seek the advice of others will eventually be led to a path of ruin. A mentor helps you to perceive your own weaknesses and confront…

Part of my June was spent preparing for and being involved in a peer mediation initiative in Singapore called Peacemakers. This project was first run in 2010 and had as its purpose the goal of bringing the ideas of mediation and collaborative problem solving to young people. This initiative saw students (aged between 13 to…

I find myself writing this blog from South Africa, at the annual conference of the International Association of Conflict Management – http://www.iacm-conflict.org/. It is a fantastic melting pot of ideas, bringing together a range of cultures and identities. Cultures, at first sight, seem to describe national and group identities: South African, American, French, Dutch, Tanzanian,…