CEDR New Dialogues Programme


Today CEDR launches an exciting new initiative, the CEDR New Dialogues programme.  This is offered to young and emerging leaders in business and the community, and we are inviting applications through self-nomination or recommendations.

Starting with an initial – and free-of-charge –  one-day training in advanced skills of facilitating dialogue and managing difficult or contentious conversations, our goal is to build a network of course alumni who will then be offered further events and mentoring support on an ongoing basis as their careers develop.  Our ambition is that over the coming years this will become an important element within our regular Foundation programme of activities designed to support the next generation of advocates and business people to develop their negotiation, mediation and conflict management skills.

Having worked with law students through some fifteen years of sponsoring the National Negotiation Competition, we are now targeting a broader group of young and emerging leaders from all walks of life.  In many respects, this development reflects CEDR’s own evolution.  Whereas our origins were firmly rooted in the litigation community, with our primary focus being on developing and offering mediation as an alternative to litigation, recent years have seen CEDR broaden our focus to embrace business people and society more generally.  Similarly, our service offer now includes a broad range of negotiation and conflict management training that builds on our core mediation expertise.

CEDR believes that this sort of initiative will help plug a gap in the range of developmental support available to our future leaders.  Whilst leadership literature and management training courses may be full of guidance on how to command or motivate a team, with lessons typically full of military or sports metaphors, there is surprisingly little information on the leader’s role in relation to the numerous challenges that conflict can present – and yet, conflict is inevitable in nearly all human and organisational relationships, and can have very significant consequences, sometimes positive but more often negative, depending upon how well it is handled.

We are, therefore, looking to recruit for a group of young people (up to age 30) who have leadership potential and/or can demonstrate some evidence of early progress towards a leadership position.  We are not looking for the finished article, but hope to find people who will benefit from our support, regardless of the background from which they come.  So if you know anyone that might be suitable, or if you would like to put yourself forward, please complete and return the application form that is available from CEDR’s website at https://www.cedr.com/foundation/dialogue/.  The deadline for applications is 11 September 2017 but we encourage you to get your form in early as the programme is likely to be over-subscribed.

This programme has been made possible by the generous support of Allen & Overy, who will host the training event on Friday 20 October 2017.  We are also grateful for the wider support of our members which makes this and our other Foundation programmes possible.


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Graham Massie
Graham Massie is the Director of Consultancy for The Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR).

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