For readers who are new, the “Neuro-Linguist’s Toolbox” series is an ongoing series focused on using Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) in our practice of amicable dispute resolution. The first section focused on rapport (the first of which can be found here). The second section focuses on matters of self-care and personal improvement for mediators (the first…

In recent years we have learned a lot more about what have become known as cognitive biases and how they may play a part in negotiation and mediation. These are mental shortcuts that save energy and get us out of tight spots that have evolved over thousands of years. Well over a hundred have been…

For readers who are new, the “Neuro-Linguist’s Toolbox” series is an ongoing series focused on using Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) in our practice of amicable dispute resolution. The first section focused on rapport (the first of which can be found here). The second section focuses on matters of self-care and personal improvement for mediators (the first…

“The road to hell is paved with good intentions” was a saying I heard quite a few times while growing up, as another childhood wheeze bit the dust. I returned to it while reading Michal Sandel’s recent book ‘The Tyranny of Merit’, in which he takes a very critical look at the notion of meritocracy….

In theory, we expect the parties’ opening statements to be swift, persuasive and forceful. At least, this is what I teach my students in ADR classes. In my mediation room, sadly, this occurs rather sporadically. The communication at the table is, unfortunately, not faultless. I guess every mediator has witnessed long, ambiguous monologue instead of…

I blogged recently on the importance in mediation of not forgetting what is happening in the other room. It’s an easy mistake to make. Here’s another one that is easy to make. “Assumed motivation”. A lot of stuff happens both in conflicts and the process of their resolution. Things are said and done by each…

Interest is growing in the use of mediation for investor-state disputes. Recent webinars on investor-state mediation (including SIDRA’s recent webinar) have explored ICSID’s new investor-state mediation rules, the role of the Singapore Convention for investor-state mediation and the need for further domestic legislation on mediation. Discussions at these virtual conferences have also emphasised the importance…

Introduction “A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.” William James Whether as mediators, advisors or parties in dispute, we consider ourselves rational, open minded thinkers. We make decisions in an objective, non-biased fashion, don’t we? Sadly, not often. We are all susceptible to a swarm of cognitive…

This is a tale from an ancient piece of Chinese literature – Lu’s Commentaries of History – – compiled in 239 B.C. by Lu Buwei, the Prime Minister of the state of Qin.- “There was once a villager who had lost his hatchet. Thinking it was stolen by his neighbour’s son, Wang, he began observing…

If the natural resources of the planet and its capacity to cope with our waste are finite, is it reasonable for mediators to be encouraging people to search for positive sum solutions which can benefit all parties to a negotiation? If you can achieve a win-win in one case could it, on a global scale,…