Unlocking horns…….Breaking the Impasse

Category: Mediating generally

Unlocking horns…….Breaking the Impasse

Unlocking horns…….Breaking the Impasse

Have you ever been stuck in a mediation where the parties have reached an impasse, it feels like it’s going nowhere, and a resolution seems impossible? There are a few reasons why this can happen, and understanding these reasons and knowing how to overcome them can help to break the impasse. The great divide An […]

The Three Stages of a Successful Negotiation 

The Three Stages of a Successful Negotiation 

Negotiating the resolution of a matter at mediation isn’t always easy.  There is so much at play – different views of the facts; conflict between the parties; resentment; anger; hurt and often the feeling that nobody is really going to “win”.  There is no magic answer to what makes a successful negotiation, but there are […]

7 Strategies to Overcome Common Emotional Threats in Mediations

7 Strategies to Overcome Common Emotional Threats in Mediations

In my last blog, I explained why it’s so important to understand the psychology and neuroscience of conflict in order to engage effectively in a mediation.  I talked about an “amygdala hijack” which is an emotional response that occurs when strong emotions virtually take over the thinking part of your brain making it difficult, or […]

Understanding the role of emotion in a mediation

Understanding the role of emotion in a mediation

Mediations can be highly emotional for all parties involved, but especially so for claimants.  For them, it’s often the only chance they will have to be heard, to say their piece and to finally put a matter to rest.  They are likely to be stressed, fatigued from the drawn-out litigation process, confused, upset, hurt and […]

How to choose the right mediator for your matter

How to choose the right mediator for your matter

Have you ever wondered if a different mediator would have been more effective?  Wouldn’t you love to have a crystal ball to foresee how the mediation will play out on the day? While that crystal ball doesn’t exist, choosing a mediator that the parties trust, and can develop a rapport with, is one of the […]

Vicarious trauma – 3 observations from the mediator’s chair

Vicarious trauma – 3 observations from the mediator’s chair

Does this time of year bring you more headaches, sleepless nights, agitation. difficulty relaxing? If it does, you’re not alone. For those of us involved in litigation, particularly claims involving exposure to traumatic and confronting events, vicarious trauma is an occupational hazard – particularly at the time of year when the caseload is high and […]

How parenting teenagers has given me greater insight into mediating

How parenting teenagers has given me greater insight into mediating

Damn teenagers are hard – on one hand you are bursting with pride as you watch them mature; and at exactly the same time they can tear out your heart, twist it into wrangled mess, nonchalantly return it to you and then act surprised when you express disappointment and dismay. The past few weeks have […]

So, you think you’re a good listener… do you do these four things?

So, you think you’re a good listener… do you do these four things?

A significant predictor as to the success of mediation or other forms of settlement negotiations is the extent to which both parties listen to each other and understand each other’s needs and interests. Many of us think we are good listeners but, in reality, our self-assessment is unlikely to be accurate. An assessment by Jack […]

Three ways the Children’s Hospital made me a better mediator

Three ways the Children’s Hospital made me a better mediator

While it was a few years ago now, my weeks sleeping on the pull out beds at the Children’s Hospital taught me several lessons that have influenced the way I run mediations. While some families spend months or years in the twilight zone, the two weeks we spent in the Children’s Hospital was a foreign and […]