As the world of business develops at an unprecedented pace, we all are constantly facing new challenging situations which we must rapidly understand, find new solutions to and, in some cases, adapt ourselves to. A global net of co-operations, business opportunities, market resources and novel technologies has inevitable spanned across our world of business. Along…

As 2014 comes to an end, it is good to reflect. How privileged many of us are. I often remark to others that my “job” is better than “real work”. What do I mean when I say that? As mediators, we have an extraordinary window through which we view life, other people and what happens…

I have never been a great fan of mediator’s proposals. I took the view that the mediator’s job, done well, was to help the parties to come to a solution themselves. Party autonomy and all that. Achieving a satisfactory outcome, I thought, shouldn’t require a specific suggestion by the mediator. I have changed my view….

“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…

Negotiations are like political campaigns. It is an organized effort to influence decision makers. “How” and “When” to begin the campaign are fundamental questions to examine before actually engaging in the formal negotiation. Consider the first presidential campaign of Barack Obama. While the election was in 2008, the campaign began before 2004 when the Democratic…

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…

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…

I write here about two contrasting experiences which have, for me, underscored the richness of the mediation process. In one mediation, involving business partners with an ongoing management issue, one of the protagonists (A) suggested bringing in another partner (D) who was not perceived to be a part of the present problem, simply to observe,…

Whether two employees are fighting or a disgruntled client is on the verge of leaving, you—yes, you—can step in and help solve the problem. Here are some tricks of the trade. Conflict happens. It happens in all areas of business. When your employees spend 40 plus hours together each week, they are bound to run…

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,…