Communications and Making “Common” – In Real Life and Virtual

Most of us advocate for better communications between people.   What exactly does it mean though, ‘communications’? Apparently its roots are Latin in origin, and mean to make “common”.   If we think of communications as making common, getting on the same page, then its part and parcel of effective collaboration.   And that making […]

Urban beekeeping offers us a lesson in change and conflict management

Its summer, here.  Flowers and gardens are blooming.  Bees are buzzing in the neighbourhood, and more, if you have backyard beehives. A Yes! magazine article this week, Four Ways to Build a Bee-Friendly Neighborhood, gave some great tips for alleviating neighbour concerns, associated with urban beekeeping.   I also thought the tips offer a larger model […]

Graduation Day: A reminder of inter-generational relationships and staying vital

My son graduated from university, yesterday.  It’s cause for celebration.  I’m proud of him, and what he’s accomplished. His graduation also makes me reflect on his journey, a journey I’ve been part of; a collaborative journey. It seems almost too obvious to mention, yet my son and I are of different generations.  Our relationship is […]

Participant Reflections on a Game Jam for Collaborative Professionals

I spent last weekend immersed in board games, at the CoRe Jolts Game Jam for Collaborative Professionals.  The event was conceived, organized and hosted by mediator colleague, Sharon Sutherland (@ssuth). I’m not much of a “gamer”.  Yet, I appreciate the power of a well-designed game, be it board or online.   So when I heard […]

Good-bye Alistair MacLeod

Canadian writer Alistair MacLeod passed away, yesterday, at the age of 77. I first came across his writings over a dozen years ago.  At that time, I was into all things Cape Breton (on Canada’s East Coast), especially fiddle music. MacLeod’s summer home was near Inverness, Cape Breton. He spent 40 years teaching English and […]

High-context communications in a low-context virtual world

Singapore mediator Ian Macduff wrote a helpful article, last week, about the differences between low- and high-context cultures, and its’ impact in online mediation. His piece highlighted the challenges of understanding the meaning behind the message, when the message can mean so much more, or less, depending on the culture of the person sending/receiving the […]

10 Ways Cops Support Community-based Collaboration and Justice

A bunch of things triggered this list, no pun intended. Police operate at the intersection of many different civic and community relationships.  That position offers them many opportunities to influence and mediate, in collaborative ways. 1. Fewer guns:  Many cities/countries (e.g., London/UK) don’t have every police officer carry a firearm.  Could most of Toronto’s cops […]

Are you talking too much “business” with your virtual work team?

If your work involves a computer and regular interaction with others, via the web, consider yourself part of a virtual team, whether you formally call it that, or not. And, in your interactions with your “virtual team”, is it all business, or are some of your conversations of a personal nature? A recent study by […]

Welcome to our community: Make yourself at home

It’s been a long journey.  I’m just a little bird, and I’ve travelled from far away, thousands of kilometers.  I’m tired and I’m lonely.  I’m looking for a safe place to bed down, meet others like me, and start afresh.  Can you help me? “Why, yes I can”, said a gentleman in my neighbourhood.  And […]