Thinking Like a Mediator for Your Difficult Conversation

How you think will affect how you feel which will affect what you say in your difficult conversation – this is a fact. So your first goal is to untangle your thinking and get your mindset in the right place. There are three essential changes you need to make to the hard wiring of your […]

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How Procedures Compromise Mediator Neutrality

As mediators we are taught  to attend to the physical environment as a way to emphasise our neutrality. We consider the seating arrangements, the layout of the plenary room, the size and quality of the private rooms, the supply of refreshments and other provisions and we do so to ensure neither party feels disadvantaged nor […]

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Why Neutrality is Unrealistic and Unattainable in Mediation

Mediators espouse the notion of neutrality and claim in their opening statements that they are neutral third parties, yet all the research suggests that this is a false promise. Post to Twitter

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Is Neutrality an Attainable Ideal in Mediation?

A recent conversation with a friend first prompted me to explore further the notion of neutrality in mediation, whether it was necessary and even attainable. What I discovered has changed the way I practice mediation… Post to Twitter

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Clear Outcomes Vital for Productive Conversations

Many people stumble into a difficult conversation with little preparation and find themselves on sticky ground before they know it. Having a clear outcome is just one part of the preparation needed before going into a difficult conversation. Watch this video to learn about how to craft an outcome that will unite rather than divide […]

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Telling Your Story in a Difficult Conversation (Part 3)

Behaviour is often the trigger for a conflict between two people, but it’s what goes on in our minds that can cause the conflict to escalate. In this video I’m going to describe how, when we make sense of someone’s behaviour, it can be problematic and I’ll share a strategy to help guide you safely […]

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Testing Assumptions in a Difficult Conversation

It’s often someone’s behaviour that triggers a conflict or difficulty between two people, now that might be true initially but it’s the assumptions and inferences that circulate in our minds that makes the situation difficult to address. In this post I’m going to describe how we make sense of someone else’s behaviour, why our assumptions […]

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Telling Your Story in a Difficult Conversation (Part 2)

When it comes to talking about emotions in a difficult conversation, some just let the occasion get to them and feel unable to manage this part of the conversation. Emotions buried alive never die, as they say, so unacknowledged emotions will inevitable appear and if you’re not prepared for this, they’ll arrive just when you […]

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Telling Your Story in a Difficult Conversation (Part 1)

Not knowing where to start or what to say is enough to put most people off tackling a difficult conversation. Part of getting off on the right foot is being able to tell your side of the story in a way that doesn’t generate more tension than is already present. It’s also important that when […]

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Emotions Buried Alive Never Die

Emotions can so easily derail a difficult conversation. In this post I share a couple of simple strategies that will help you talk about your emotions in a way that’s safe, productive and that doesn’t raise anxiety levels further . This is the second of the three most important characteristics you’ll need in order to […]

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How To Present Your Side Of The Story In A Difficult Conversation

There are always two sides to every story in a difficult conversation. Knowing how to tell your side of the story is vital for a successful outcome.

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