“The key to doing well lies not in overcoming others, but in eliciting their co-operation.” Robert Axelrod “Although negotiation takes place every day, it is not easy to do well. Standard strategies for negotiation often leave people dissatisfied, worn out or alienated…..” Roger Fisher and William Ury For probably the final time, I am writing…

Hong Kong mediator, lawyer and poet, TK Iu, was introduced to readers by fellow blogger Joel Lee earlier this year. TK’s first published poetic piece on mediation was entitled, ‘A Mediator’s Prayer’, inspired by the Peace Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi. If you missed it, it’s well worth the read. In just a few…

Before I left my law firm in the late 1990’s David Maister, a Boston management guru of whom many of you will know, was the darling of every large service firm, especially in the law and accountancy fields. He has long since retired but at his height he was good, very good – despite being a…

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…