Training dates announced

November 4, 2013 § 2 Comments

My Supervision Skills course for supervisors of mediators is running again as an open programme.

For more information and details of how to reserve your place, download the following brochures:

Edinburgh 21 November 2013

London 29 November 2013

This one-day programme is accredited by the College of Mediators (6 CPD points).

Feedback from previous courses:

  • “I felt comfortable to share my views with the rest of the group which I don’t normally feel able to do; so I was definitely more vocal and this was down to John’s training style and relaxed atmosphere. Brilliant!”
  • “I was particularly impressed with the sensitivity and knowledge that John brought to his role as facilitator and the way he supported each participant to find their own voice.”
  • “I really enjoyed the content, delivery and encouragement. I feel positive about becoming a supervisor.”
  •  “I feel that John is really skilled at enabling creativity and also clarity – I always feel much ‘freer’ after a coaching session.”
  •  “Relaxed contributions created by John made contributions easy.”

I’m really looking forward to running these programmes again; hope you can join me in London or Edinburgh.

Tackling tough issues and working with hope

June 21, 2013 § Leave a comment

There’s no doubt of the value of people across diverse or divided communities, being able to reach out to each other, challenge myths and prejudices, and find ways of building local resilience.

Are you involved in, or interested in supporting this “good relations” work?

My friends/colleagues at, together with International Alert, and funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, are running a series of regional meetings for practitioners and managers.

Starting next week, the events will explore setting up a national coalition of good relations organisations which could improve the voice, practice and visibility of good relations work in England. The events will include the chance to discuss local divisive narratives and how you are currently tackling them, and impact measurement.

My connection to this is that Talk for a Change and I are in conversation about how to establish rigorous and realistic impact assessment models for community dialogue and facilitation. And in my consultancy work with the Newcastle Conflict Resolution Network, and in shaping co-design processes for patients and clinical staff, I’m interested in how those who wouldn’t normally talk to each other, can find ways of hearing each other’s voices and build a culture of greater understanding and empathy.

Details of the Talk for a Change regional meetings are here. Organised so far:

24th June in Stockwell, London

27th June in Manchester

2nd July in Warrington

15th July in Newcastle

11th September in Leeds

With other regions to be planned.

All the water in the world

May 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

globe with all surface water collected into a small dropletThis stunning image brought home for me the preciousness of water.

We believe we are the blue planet, seven-tenths covered in water; and yet all the water collected together from the air, rivers and oceans – the water we depend on – forms this tiny droplet.

You can see the full image here.

For some this image may simply be a representation of known information in a new and surprising way; for others it might be a ‘wake up’ moment’ – in the same way that the Earthrise photograph (taken by the Apollo 11 space crew) has been dubbed the most influential environmental photograph ever taken.

Or do you remember your first reaction to this statistic: if every human being wants to live like western Europeans, we’ll need three planets to provide all the necessary resources and to cope with the waste. And make that five planets if we all want the lifestyle of North Americans.

It is known that information, on its own, is rarely enough to change behaviour. Images and statistics can sometimes help, though, in bringing a message home.

Drink of water, anyone?

Assessing the impact of community mediation

June 14, 2011 § 1 Comment

As a result of work which Mediation Yorkshire and I did together last year, we have produced a paper describing how the impact of mediation – both within the dispute and the wider effects – can be captured.

Challenges and Opportunities in assessing the impact of neighbour dispute mediation, 2011 John Gray

There is something of a gap within the UK community mediation sector in the theory and practice of impact. After a phase of comparatively generous public and financial support for the sector during the 90’s and early 2000’s, services need to be even clearer what benefits they are bringing to their stakeholders. Their stakeholders include not just the communities in which they work, but the service’s funders who are often local actors and influencers within the same communities.

Community mediation in the UK is approaching its fourth decade, and I hope this paper gives ideas and support to the sector as the challenges and opportunities of the current operating environment begin to make themselves felt.

If you have comments on the paper or contributions to the impact assessment debate, do be in touch.

Update: Mediation Digest has picked up on my Impact Assessment research, including an article from Mediation Yorkshire about how they have used the research with funders, referrers and other stakeholders.

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