Five Ways to Improve Every Communication

One of the key principles of conflict resolution theory that we teach to trainee mediators is ‘focus on interests, not positions’. What’s meant by this is that you attempt all of the time to help people reflect on and articulate their needs, what’s important to them, what is ‘really’ going on for them. This is…

The Challenge of People Management

A research report just released this week on ‘Absence Management’ from the Charterted Institute of Personnel and Development & Simply Health cited workplace stress as the leading cause of long-term stress in the workplace and cites one of the main causes of this being ‘management style’. According to Dr Thomas Gordon (Leadership Effectiveness Training, 2001,…

Making Mediation More Available in Your Organisation

There are numerous statistics on the high costs of workplace conflict to organisations, due in no small part to the significant costs of what one could term ‘formal’ interventions being used. By this we mean rights-based interventions such as investigations and other litigious processes such as the Employment Appeals Tribunal. In an absence of procedures…

Is Mediation Right for the Parties?

I’ve had a few mediation cases recently that didn’t reach agreement. In trying to analyse what ‘went wrong’, as it were, one conclusion I came to is that the parties weren’t really on board for mediation. They were on board yes, to have a dialogue with the other person with me present but really they…

Is there a need for some self-reflection before mediation?

While I have no solid research to support this assertion, my experience over the last six years seems to show a positive correlation between a person’s ability or interest in self-reflection and better outcomes for the conflict situation they are involved in. An obvious indicator of a person having taken time to reflect on themselves…

Leitrim Mediation Project – Cross-Border Visit

As part of the recent training course for participants on the Leitrim Mediation Training project, a cross-border visit has taken place with one of the most established and best known mediation projects in Ireland – Mediation Northern Ireland (MNI). This project has been funded by the PEACE III Programme through the European Union’s European Regional…

Afraid of Raising a Difficult Issue? Five Fears and How to Manage Them

“We fear the heat of an honest encounter” The headline above is a quote from an article in the Irish Times by Tony Bates, Director of Headstrong (Feb 1st, 2011). The article talks about the importance of being able to have honest and open conversations about difficulties we might encounter, be it in the workplace,…