We and our politics must learn to deal with shades of grey
POSTED ON April 06, 2021 | Comments (0)

They say we live in a VUCA world: volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous.  How true that seems. One tragedy of the Salmond hearings was how little scope there seemed to be for recognition of nuance, paradox and doubt. As so often in politics, issues were...

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I'll See You on the Dark Side of the Moon: Reflecting on Rapport, Trauma, and Resonance in Mediation
POSTED ON March 28, 2021 | Comments (0)

“It’s hard to beat Dark Side of the Moon” he said. “What a piece of music.” I agreed: “Did you ever see Pink Floyd play Dark Side live? I recall being at Earls Court in 1994.” “I was there too!” he exclaimed. For a moment or...

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This may be the moment for mediation in difficult political and judicial decisions
POSTED ON March 15, 2021 | Comments (0)

I am sure that some readers watching or reading about the breakdown in relations between our present and former First Ministers will have asked themselves: why don’t they try mediation? This is not as extreme a suggestion as it might appear. Many serious senior level...

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Fear cannot be the driver
POSTED ON February 15, 2021 | Comments (0)

“Fear cannot be the driver.” These words from my 2019 report to the Cabinet Secretary for Health into allegations of bullying in NHS Highland have been quoted on a number of occasions. I sense that they speak of something deeper in our society with which...

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Falling Upward in the Pandemic
POSTED ON February 08, 2021 | Comments (0)

When I had an episode of depression several years ago, a friend of mine sent me the book Falling Upward, by Richard Rohr, to lift my spirits. That book probably transformed how I view life and helped me to see depression as a gift. For...

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The Costs of Litigating
POSTED ON January 30, 2021 | Comments (0)

The Times newspaper reported (Thursday, January 28 2021) on a bitter boundary dispute between two pensioners, each in their eighties, over a strip of land less than a metre wide. Apparently, the legal battle has cost them £500,000, contributed to the death of a spouse...

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Changing the Frame: Some Challenging Issues for Promoting Mediation
POSTED ON January 28, 2021 | Comments (0)

Anna Howard’s first book, ‘EU Cross-Border Commercial Mediation: Listening to Disputants – Changing the Frame; Framing the Changes’ (published by Kluwer), is an important contribution to the literature about the practice and promotion of mediation. It deserves a wide readership among academics and practitioners alike...

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Some Questions at the Turn of the Year...
POSTED ON January 04, 2021 | Comments (0)

There are times when one is not sure what to say or do, especially if one aspires not simply to repeat or anticipate what others might say or do. What do you say when you don’t know what to say? What do you do when...

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Recognising Trauma: Litigation and Politics are Harming Us
POSTED ON November 30, 2020 | Comments (0)

I write this in the aftermath of yet another mediation in which the protagonists exhibited symptoms of having been seriously traumatised by the litigation process to which they had been exposed. Depression, suicidal thoughts, anger, loathing, destroyed relationships, large amounts of money spent with no...

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Reflections on the US Election 2020
POSTED ON November 16, 2020 | Comments (0)

Perhaps it’s time for a re-frame. The world’s best attempt so far at democracy has been the subject of much criticism. We may have seen the best and worst of democracy in action. Certainly, we have seen a massive turnout of voters, largely in a...

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