A quarter century ago, Professor Leonard Riskin published an article describing a grid of mediator orientiations including a facilitative-evaluative dimension.  Despite critiques of this framework, including by Riskin himself, many mediators, trainers, and teachers still use these concepts as mediation models, expressing strong feelings that one model is good and the other is bad. These…

I am not really one for elevator pitches. But I did hear one the other day about creating impact in a very short space of time, and I was struck by its relevance to mediation. Essentially, the message was that the people we meet make up their minds about us based on two key criteria,…

“It’s hard to beat Dark Side of the Moon” he said. “What a piece of music.” I agreed: “Did you ever see Pink Floyd play Dark Side live? I recall being at Earls Court in 1994.” “I was there too!” he exclaimed. For a moment or two, we reflected on the album’s seemingly relevant song…

University of Strathclyde, host to Learning by Doing, mediation clinic conference

By the everyday miracle of Zoom, Carrie Menkel-Meadow spoke from her LA office to a Glasgow conference with a worldwide audience. Wrapping up ‘Learning by Doing,’ the UK’s first conference devoted to mediation clinics, her keynote described the inspiration for a whole career: a colleague in her legal aid office in the 1970s. While Carrie…

Christmas is a holiday and a time for reflection and relaxation for many around the world, so in this blog post I won’t focus on mediation as it is practiced and trained. Instead I make two recommendations for films to watch, both of which are centered around the theme of empathy. Both touched me and…

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…

Sometimes I wonder what the facilitation and mediation work I do is all about. By which I mean what purpose does it perform for clients. What is it that they are asking for from me, and what is it that they actually get? Do they always really want what they are ostensibly asking for? Do…

The process of discerning what to write about in a blog is interesting. Sometimes inspiration comes quickly. On other occasions, there is a barren wilderness, or a hotchpotch of half-formed ideas. This month feels like the last of these. I thought to write about a really excellent new book by the Oxford economists, Paul Collier…

One of the positive aspects of the enforced changes brought about by lockdown is that it enables – or compels – us to try new things. So far, I’ve learned how to create and have issued 13 podcasts, the idea being to spread ideas as widely as possible at this crucial time. After much procrastination,…