Working with shame in conflict resolution

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Shame is an essential pro-social force. Our experiences of shame are reflective of the fact that we have values and ideals, which in turn help us cooperate as human beings and live in community. Shame helps us care what others think and take responsibility, and is essential for constructive, collaborative, and loving relationships. However, shame, as with most life experiences, … Read More

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

On being judgemental

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I heard someone the other day (outside of my work environment) saying they were non-judgemental. I noticed my physical response, a slight tension in my throat, my facial muscles tightened a little, a wariness emerged into my experience. As this person said they were non-judgemental, my level of trust towards what they might say or do very slightly weakened. I … 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

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

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