I am interested in convergence – of ideas, of behaviour, of trends, of different disciplines. The more I read, the more common themes I discern in the arts, science, spirituality, leadership and in what we do as mediators. A reflection of this is found in the African concept of ubuntu, “the profound sense that we…

Many mediations are 80/20 – that is, 80% of the day spent in dialogue and debate with not much sign of movement and, as evening gathers, 20% frenetic activity. So it is not unusual for the parties to sit together for many hours and ask towards the end of the day “are we any nearer each other?”…

An article by Donalee Moulton in the January 24th issue of The Lawyers Weekly entitled, “Opening offers can make or break a deal” caught my attention and caused me to reflect on my own experience from approximately 3,000 mediations conducted over the past 22 years. I urge readers to look a the Lawyers Weekly article…

This is where I did my best work in Christmas week – in the twilight zone between the joint session room to the right of the water cooler and the private caucus room off to the left by the green bins. Corridors can be furtive and risky spaces on mediation days – ‘don’t ask me…

There are times in mediation when emotions are so powerful that it’s impossible to think of anything else. This week I witnessed, at the very least, despair, fear, anger, hurt, sadness, care, love and relief. They can be fleeting – a flicker of amusement, a nod of recognition, a disdainful glance. Or they can be…

Recently I had contact with the Design Thinking process, which is a creative problem solving approach that attempts to bring together tools and techniques from several disciplines and apply them to real problems or challenges. Although it follows no real pattern, as each situation requires unique approaches and solutions, a simple framework can be applied…

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…

On 4 September 2010, Christchurch – gateway to New Zealand’s scenic South Island – suffered a major 7.1 earthquake and before it could recover a further 6.3 earthquake shook the city on 22 February 2011 killing 185 people and damaging well over one third of the buildings in the CBD and tens of thousands of…

Armed with coloured paper, crayons and scissors, myself and nine other mediators spent a good portion of last Friday designing our “ideal” family conflict resolution service. While the background to this was, in part, recent and pending legislative change in the UK, some of which looks likely to impact negatively on families in conflict, these…