To the extent that a mediator’s job involves listening to people complain and engage in negative behaviour, mediators face a serious mental health hazard. Research shows that listening to ongoing negativity impairs the brain function of the listener. Yes! Listening can be bad for you if you have a whinging party in the room, and…

QMU

“Patients don’t expect doctors to be perfect. They do expect them to strive for perfection by opening up their work to scrutiny” Atul Gawande, Desert Island Discs, BBC Radio 4, 6/12/15. A bit of a treat for me last week, when four of my favourite academics came to Edinburgh. They were keynotes at Mediate Scotland…

In February 2015, the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution organized and ran the Asia Pacific International Mediation Summit in New Delhi, India. I had the honour of presenting at a number of sessions at the summit and I would like to explore one of those sessions in this month’s entry. I was part…

When someone asks me to explain what mediation is, I often find it easier to tell them what it is not. Sometimes I will start by asking them if they are familiar with litigation or arbitration, and use those modes of dispute resolution as a point of comparison. I often see workshops and seminars introduce…

In recent weeks, I have had the privilege of mediating and facilitating in different matters with representatives of four governments . On one occasion they were on the same “side”; on another, notionally on different sides. A common theme to emerge was the needs and behaviours of political masters who were not present. The representatives…

In 2006 Frank Sander produced his ‘Mediation Receptivity Index'(22 Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution, 599-618). The MRI would be a way of discerning the extent of ‘mainstreaming’ or ‘institutionalization’ of mediation in different US states. It doesn’t seem to have caught on, but among the questions Sander lists are: PROVIDERS – number of professional…

3 elements of justice

Regular readers of this blog will know that I am exercised by the question of justice in mediation. I test the concept on people I meet; responses range from “that’s an interesting idea” to “it has nothing whatever to do with it”. At a conference earlier this year a senior lawyer claimed he could count…

The saying “What Happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas” is one of the most famous taglines in modern tourism, meaning ….. well, you probably know what it means, don’t you ? However, differently from the Vegas perspective, my recent experience in Vienna is one that I definitely want to share with you. In a week…