This blog entry arises not so much from any mediation, but from one aspect of regular social encounters that is all too normal a part of negotiation and mediation. As the title suggests, it’s about the role of inquiry, asking questions – not merely gathering information, but going beyond that in the expression of interest…

Global Legal Post recently carried an article intriguingly entitled “Lawyers find Eureka moments in the shower“. Sadly the article itself lacked the slightly salacious promise of its title. Instead, it focused on the results of a survey of London city lawyers, indicating that those surveyed did their most creative thinking in the shower or commuting…

Talking to Dr Gilbert Wong Senior Superintendent, Commanding Officer, Police Negotiation Cadre, Hong Kong Walking into Gilbert Wong’s office is like stumbling into Aladdin’s Cave – a treasure trove of memories and stories of his 21 years in the Hong Kong Police Force. Amongst his library of books on crisis negotiation, psychology, counselling, psychotherapy and…

Next week I am going to interview one of Hong Kong’s leading police negotiators, Dr Gilbert Wong, Commanding Officer of the Police Negotiation Cadre (PNC). When I first emailed with Gilbert, I was struck by the signature line of his email: “Who Cares Wins”. While it could be a mediator’s tagline, it is in fact,…

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,…

Sorry (as we Canadians tend to say a lot). I’m A few days late with this post as I’ve been vacationing in London U.K. with my wife and 14-year old daughter. (Wonderful time, thanks). Today is my first day back in the office after the two weeks away and I’m sure readers will know what…

In mediation training and experience are key words that path the way to success. Good mediators must learn to be conscious of their own emotions and to be aware of the emotional reactions of mediation participants to intervene effectively in a conflict. When starting a mediation career one could believe that access to training and…

How many times have you confronted the mediator before the session begins with this question: “You’re not going to do a joint session are you? I don’t l think it will be productive.” The conventional wisdom in such a request is to avoid a moot court debate in which counsel are forced to advocate strong…

This week the 5th World Summit on Elder Mediation is taking place in Glasgow: see http://www.eldermediation.ca/styled-2/index.html. It is an inspiring gathering, bringing together mediators from Canada, Ireland, Spain, Switzerland, England and Scotland, all committed to helping older people deal with conflict in a way that is humane and just. The range of issues is daunting…