No conflict is an island – the place of context and “field” in resolving disputes

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Conflict is as much about context as it is about the in-the-moment dynamics of a relationship. Or at least, the two are indivisible. To put it another way, every conflict is underpinned by a comprehensive collection of variables, a web of influences, a complex map of roots and consequent branches. Context is ever present. For example, in a workplace mediation, … Read More

Conflict between friends – a call for dialogue

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Corinne Rechais is the Director of a mediation service (CALM Mediation) in London, UK. At the Civil Mediation Conference in London recently she mentioned that many/the majority of their community mediations were between people who had once been friends. That simple statement really stood out to me. What is it about friendship that may make us particularly vulnerable to conflict? … Read More

In mediation, slowing the pace of conflict

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From time-to-time difference between individuals or groups distorts into conflict. One way to consider conflict is to think of it as dialogue between beings that has extended beyond what the parties to the dialogue can manage. There can perhaps be a tendency amongst human beings to assume that we are “all able”, “all able” to manage any communication, thoughts, feelings, … Read More

“Sometimes the greatest thing people have in common, is the difference between them” – creating common ground through the recognition of difference

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Any dispute is a manifestation of a difference, whether that be between individuals, groups, or nations. It can probably be termed as difference with particular attributes, for example difference that involves two or more relatively fixed positions, and difference that usually holds an amount of heightened emotion for those involved. But as we investigate the dispute in a mediation, what … Read More

How a mediator’s “presence” and embodied experience may be used in service of dispute resolution

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In training to be a mediator we learn skills, techniques, approaches, important aspects of how to handle challenging and entrenched disputes. We take these tools into our mediations and apply them in nuanced fashion to help the parties move on from the conflict that constrains their business, work relationship, child’s well-being (eg SEN Mediation). However, the more I’ve practiced as … Read More

When in conflict, go towards conflict

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Humans are individually unique beings. No one person is the same. Obvious huh? Well maybe, and yet so often we adopt similar patterns of behaviour to those around us; it can sometimes appear that the differences between us is a matter of semantics. From such confluence (Perls, Hefferline, Goodman, 1951) develops formulised and patterned approaches to managing contact with the … Read More

Dialogue, as an antidote to the politics of outrage.

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These are fevered times, where public debate has a sort of boom and bust quality. As an issue emerges the tendency is for people to stand up, shout loud, and stand firm. Positions are taken, “cyclists are a danger to themselves and others”, “car drivers act like they own the road”. These positions are often accompanied by “outrage”, a sharp … Read More

How on earth do we disagree?

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A few years back now, on a whim, I decided I was going to drive from London in the UK, 50 miles north to Luton, so I could be there during an EDL (English Defence League, far-right group) rally. I’m drawn to edges, and to what I don’t know. I’m also fascinated by human beings and their world; I spend … Read More

Right Here, Right Now – shifting conflict in the present moment

Nick AdlingtonBlog2 Comments

In a dispute between two people, there is always a history. One of our jobs as mediators is to help those who have courageously committed to mediation to navigate that story. We support mediation participants to explore past events that have led to the feelings of hurt or distress that often lie at the centre of conflict. As mediators we … Read More