Working through…”I’m right, you’re wrong”, in the restoration of relationship

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This article is written to highlight an aspect of conflict, and one’s own personal process, that can obstruct the capacity to restore collaborative and cooperative relationship. It also gives a suggestion for beginning to address this issue. In my experience of mediating conflict, and understanding my own disputes, I notice that what often emerges is a clearly defined sense of … Read More

Awareness – the power to transform conflict

Nick AdlingtonUncategorized1 Comment

“Awareness is like the glow of a coal which comes from its own combustion” (Perls, Hefferline, Goodman, 1951: 75) Writing about mediation, dialogue, and the practice of conflict transformation, is one way by which I reflect on and develop my practice. It has been a few months since I last wrote and I’ve missed that space to grapple with and … 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

Nick AdlingtonBlog2 Comments

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

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

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

Unexpressed Feelings

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I have seen it said that feelings and emotions can get in the way of understanding and empathising with people. From my experience as a mediator in “high feeling” mediation meetings, I can see this point. Feelings and associated emotions can be heightened and expressive, to a point where it is difficult for one, other, or both sides to clearly … Read More