No such thing as a bully

Bullies have been on my mind lately.  A few weeks ago we had the headline in the Guardian about a ‘bullying culture’ in universities.  I work in this sector, so the story was both interesting and familiar and prompted me to a direct marketing campaign – I can help employers with this kind of problem. Next I conducted a mediation where both parties were complaining about being bullied by the other.  This isn’t as unusual as it sounds.  My job (successful in this case) was to help each party hear [...]

Talking too loudly on the bus

I am on a trip down the west coast of the US, taking in a few large cities and some smaller places.  It’s easy coming to the States, apart from the money.  Or not so much the money, but the tick I’ve developed whereby I can’t help comparing the notes to Monopoly.  It’s boring for anyone in the vicinity and I’m dealing with it.  The language is by and large the same; the culture is familiar from films and TV; America’s  political news was the world’s news even before Trump [...]

Apology – pearl or pup?

Mediators make much of the value of apology in dispute resolution, but what does sorry mean and what should a mediator do with it? Often, it is part of the training - a whole session on apology and how important it is to acknowledge it and make sure the other party has heard it.  Indeed, it’s not usual for one or both parties to enter a mediation insisting on an apology, so when the inexperienced mediator hears that, they think – bingo – my job’s done! I’ve always been [...]

2018-12-08T12:42:59+00:0011 January 2017|Apology, dispute resolution, Mediation|0 Comments

Dry Ski Slope Gate

First published November 2012 The row between the parents of the boy who  missed the birthday party remains at the top of the news agenda despite the obvious fact that it’s a) trivial beyond speaking, b) embarrassing all round, c) awful for the kids and d) absolutely pathetic. Why are we still talking about it?  Because we love a bit of argy bargy; each of us is, despite ourselves, taking a view on who’s right, who’s wrong; some of us are marshalling our opinions on what we think of birthday parties on dry ski [...]

2018-12-08T12:42:50+00:0010 January 2017|dispute resolution, Mediation|0 Comments