How to talk to difficult people No 3

I wrote some blogs a few weeks back on how to talk to the difficult people in your household, especially those who find you even more difficult.  I hope that’s been going well, but remember it does take practice. Today I’m going to give some examples of things we say when we mean to be helpful but which never seem to make things better.  I’m going to offer some alternatives. Sentences that start: Why don’t you … If only you would … All I ask is that … ...  hardly [...]

Active Listening in Difficult Times

If you've volunteered to be a listener through the NHS Scheme or locally through a Mutual Aid group, this video should might help you collect some tips up your sleeve for the more challenging calls. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=006KdNQrKog              

How to live with difficult people during a lockdown No 2

Continuing in my series on how to talk to difficult people, especially those who insist you are the difficult one: In the previous post I talked about the benefits of asking the difficult person how they’re feeling and the importance of listening to the answer; how to check and demonstrate you’ve understood them, and if you haven’t, to listen again until they know they’ve really been heard. All this time, though, you haven’t had a look in. Now it’s your turn. You can’t wait to launch in with your much [...]

How to live with difficult people during a lockdown:

Loads of us are finding ourselves stuck indoors with difficult people who are (most unreasonably) accusing us of being the difficult one.  This could go on for a long time, so over the next week or two I'm going to blog on ways to turn arguments into constructive communication and the difficult person into someone you can manage and even enjoy to be locked down with for as long as this process takes. Step one: asking how someone is feeling and listening to the answer: 1     Before you get [...]

Let’s Dance

I did my accounts yesterday.  It's a job made not only bearable but actually enjoyable by the addition of Spotify. I shuffled through a playlist called Classic Covers. Halfway into November’s expenses I found myself listening to something I couldn't at first place - deeply familiar and at the same time completely new. It took me a moment to recognise a ponderous version of Let's Dance, a slow voice accompanied by an acoustic guitar, a hesitant harmonica between verses. The tempo was different and the rhythm was new too. I [...]

How to solve the unsolvable using only half an onion

I know it’s blokes who are supposed to be unable to see the pint of milk on the second shelf of the fridge (it’s because they have the eye on the big picture, isn’t it – checking out the lion on the horizon the while we women worry about grubs and corn on the ground?). Let's be honest, it’s not just blokes. I made myself a stir fry yesterday and I knew I had half an onion. I was pretty sure it was in the fridge and certain I hadn’t [...]

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 [...]

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

The Failed Mediation

First, let me say some mediations do fail. These are mediations were never going to result in agreement, resolution, or even a better understanding by the parties of their dispute. This might be for several reasons, but the commonest are that the mediator wasn't skilled and didn't do the job properly, and that the parties just weren't playing. But there's another outcome that is referred to as "failed" that is no such thing.  This is the mediation (and I'm talking specifically civil and commercial here) that is set down for a [...]

2017-01-09T15:52:44+00:009 January 2017|Mediation|0 Comments
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