I wrote this piece for Strathclyde Mediation Clinic after a series of conversations with new and learner mediators. Some surprised me with their passivity in the face of parties’ lack of knowledge or understanding. After some probing I learned that many new mediators recognise the problem but believe the model they were taught prohibits them…

This is part 2 of a 3 part blog series highlighting select findsings from the SIDRA Survey 2020. To read Part 1, click here. The SIDRA Survey delves into the user experiences of Legal Users (lawyers and legal advisers) and Client Users (corporate executives and in-house counsel) in international commercial dispute resolution. Through an examination…

“The ground is so wet; it wasn’t like this in the past. We can’t get started on this year’s soil preparation.” In a recent mediation involving farmers, this was the response to my early inquiry about how things were going, generally. These days, I find that the topic of climate change and its effects arises,…

Stop apologising

(This blog is adapted from a longer version published by Prof John Lande as part of Theories of Change for the Dispute Resolution Movement: Actionable Ideas to Revitalize Our Movement. The Theory of Change symposium asked mediators and scholars to think big about their dreams and visions for the future, and was recently published on…

I was first introduced to Kluwer Mediation Blog by Professor Joel Lee of the National University of Singapore when he shared “A Mediator’s Prayer” in his July 2014 blog entry. Joel is no stranger here. He is not only a prominent mediator but also a Chinese martial arts master. Joel practises and teaches Wing Chun –…

Mediators should speak up confidently for mediation. In this post I will consider some reasons why this might be difficult, and others why it is so necessary. It is not only that mediation is not sufficiently known. It can also be intimidating, and it is our job to explain it. Shortly after I had finished…

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…

Values drive practice

(I first wrote about mediation’s values 12 years ago at the tail end of a Masters in Conflict Resolution and Mediation Studies.(1) Two years of study had convinced me that it is our values, rather than the techniques we learn, that tell us what to do and say when when mediating. The intervening years haven’t…

My February 4, 2019 post What if Mediation Science Originated in the Real World? sparked much useful comment. Many people said they regretted the deficiency of negotiation and mediation field research, but were dismayed that I offered no proposals for fixing it. How, they asked, do you generate large-scale, real-life negotiation data? So, may I…