All posts by R A

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Brāv Annual Membership

Benefits:
• Mediation trainings and webinars
• Publishing opportunities and mentions in major publications
• Use of platform to kick start your career as mediator and practice mediation
• Access to exclusive resources for members
• Regular discussions on ADR trending topics
• Early access to Global Brāv’s Event – including Brāv’s Annual Event, study tours and cruises
• Become part of fastest growing global network of Neutrals
• Provide support to set up a Mediation Clinic in schools, colleges and communities
• Regular skill upgrading sessions
• Membership discounts
And many more resourceful perks

Brāv Membership Fees

____ Professional ($200 USD): https://www.paypal.me/brav1/230

____ Student ($55 USD) – Discount $20 = $35 : https://www.paypal.me/brav1/36

____ Organizational ($1,690 USD): https://www.paypal.me/brav1/1720

(Total = Membership fee + Processing fees as applicable)

Last date to avail discounted membership for students is January 31, 2018.

As a Brāv member, you’re invited to be part of the development of the global profession by joining Brāv Partners, the worldwide association of professional conflict managers associations.

#choosetobebrāv (www.brav.org).

#AlbertSquareMediation – Technology – curse, comfort or both?

Brav-LogoLife in the twenty-first century is, for most of us living in the Western World, pretty amazing. Unlike our predecessors we have a plethora of technology at our disposal with modern day wonders such as mobile phones and the internet have major impacts on our daily lives. Science fiction made science fact one might say, and this is all fantastic. Except, of course, when they go wrong. Then we realise just how dependant we are on complicated boxes of electronica and can flounder without them. The stress this caused can be immense, as most of us can appreciate.

I recently had the unfortunate displeasure of losing my home internet access just before the so-called ‘festive season’. Although I had officially finished work, as in I did not need to have a presence in the office or on the shop floor. I do not have the sort of work that finishes at 5 pm, and invariably always have to do some work at home. I accept this as being the way it is, although sometimes would love to have more free time. Sigh.

But I digress. So, I come home after work and find, that the internet was no more, it had ceased to be, it had departed this mortal coil, in other words it stopped working. Being a resourceful type, I know what to do: buttons were pressed, boxes were unplugged, turned off and on again, left to cool down, warm up and much more but all to no avail. Eventually I rang the so-called helpline, the computerised voice asked various questions and did its thing and assured me that all would be up and running within two days.

All as expected. Well, perhaps unsurprisingly I can assure the reader that things were most definitely not up and running after two days. Moreover, the promised text confirmation to my mobile phone did not materialise (thankfully this device was working ok and was my lifeline to the outside world). We were most definitely not amused, and so once more I contacted the helpline, a different one this time, that had a real human at the end, in some distant land. This charming person who at least initially mostly read in a monotone from a script (until I spoke to him in his language – the benefits of an eclectic education!), offered bland admonishments and a “most sincere apology” and promised to look into this personally. Sure enough, the next day someone appeared at my front door (at the time quoted – very impressive) and some time later (two hours) order was restored to chaos, entropy was averted and my network was re-born.

During this slightly fraught time it was most heartening that lovely colleagues, friends and partners (well, only one of the latter) offered help and support, and at least I had several options to fall back on were network disruptions to continue. I can’t help but think that the Beatles got it right (and not for the first time) when one of them, the one whose name begins with the letter ‘R’ sang. “I get by with a little help from my friends”.

This got me thinking about many things, good and bad and not necessarily about amazingly brilliant sixties popular beat combos. While technological marvels such as mobile phones and the internet are wonderful when they work, when they don’t problems arise of a nature and degree unimaginable in the good old days when such things were firmly in the realm of fantasy. I consider myself a groovy, chilled hip kind of guy, but I have to admit that even I was starting to get concerned as the mountain of stuff I needed the internet for (including writing blogs, funnily enough) was far from getting done and the clock was ticking. Obviously the world has to stop during the ‘festive season’ and my deadlines for various things were fixed in stone, immutable, unchangeable and if not done before the world stopped for a certain special day then the fate of the Western World would be sealed. I exaggerate, obviously, but I did have lots of things to do, and not being able to do them while I had a modicum of that most precious resource of free time, was rather frustrating.

I rather suspect that when things go wrong, as they often do in life, we often react without thinking, and may say and do things we regret. This leads to stress, more problems and often unwanted consequences, and invariably it is better to wait, think, reflect and cogitate before saying or doing something we regret. For once said and done it cannot be retracted and sorting out a bigger mess is far harder than dealing with a smaller, solvable one. I know that in my clinical work, as a doctor, my role was often more that of a diplomat than a doctor. Being called to resolve difficult situations necessitated using conflict resolution techniques early, applying reflective practice techniques (basically thinking carefully before reacting), keeping calm, and maintaining one’s cool so that things got sorted, peace could break out and life could go on. Conflicts of various sorts arise frequently in hospitals, and addressing these before they could fester and worsen was something I had to deal with a lot of the time, and certainly made the routine clinical work seem simple in comparison – well, almost.

Anyway, my own holiday saga was finally resolved without the need for violence or bloodshed, the relief of being able to get on with things and access emails and the internet was wonderful (really) and I even managed to get all my work done without too much angst – only one late night was needed and the festive season turned out to be just that. Oddly, the delay had no major consequences and frankly none were the wiser. So all was well that ended well. The moral of the story is that things can and will go wrong and when they do, try not to lose your head, and that all is not lost. – really. If you find that you somehow say or do the wrong thing and are facing seemingly insurmountable odds, there are ways of resolving such disputes. Either consult a doctor (err, perhaps not as your first option and please not this particular doctor) or better yet, a highly skilled mediator from #AlbertSquareMediation.

Buddy’s Point to Ponder Christmas cheer, oh, Christmas cheer!

 

Christmas cheer, oh, Christmas cheer. Brav-LogoCan you feel it, can you see it, can you know it’s real?

Faith is the key for you and me, God’s grace is the true meaning I feel.

There is no greater love than that of the Father, who gave his only son to us on this day so long ago, to love us, to teach us, and to show us that making a sacrifice for the good of all is the greatest gift!

We can never hope to repay that gift. We can only live by Christ’s words (off the top of my head): “Love the Lord thy God with all your heart and soul; And love thy neighbor as you love God. For these are the Great Commandments. Obey these, and all good things shall follow you, all the days of your life!”

Blessings on this wonderful birthday of our Christ, and may the gifts we have received from his hand bear us good tidings throughout the coming New Year!

Please share or forward as you will on this most joyous

 

 

Palestinian Leader: UN Should Replace U.S. as Peace Mediator

Brav-LogoPalestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday said the United Nations should replace the United States as a peace mediator between Israeli and Palestinian officials. Abbas’ comments come as the Trump administration inflamed tensions in the region by designating Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The Trump administration has been pushing for successful peace negotiations in the Middle East, and the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital threatens to imperil its prospects because most world leaders in the region condemned the decision

“Sensationalism and Rampant Hysteria” – a Cautionary Tale

2017-12-04 | By Paul Sandford and David King. Paul is the Director of #AlbertSquareMediation and a civil mediator. David is an accountant and tax and financial specialist as well as being a team member and civil mediator.

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Henry is the UK national tiddlywinks champion and sidelines as a crochet presenter for the renowned worldwide hobby megastore chain, Multi-knit. Readers may be very surprised to learn that Henry, a UK permanent resident, who is quite unworldly, is as financially successful as many international footballers. Following a recent discussion with his agent, the very worldly Wolsey, Henry concludes that he really is paying too much UK tax and contacts an internationally renowned accountant, Thomas Cromwell, and asks for advice as to how best to manage his tax affairs. It would be fair to say that the opportunist Cromwell is not Her Majesty’s Revenue and Custom’s (HMRC) favourite member of the accountancy profession.

Cromwell advises Henry to arrange for his earnings and royalties to be paid into an offshore account established in a recently created tax haven on the Isle of Sheppey just off the Kent coast. In line with Cromwell’s very brief advice an arrangement is made whereby he will draw sums of money from the offshore account as loans. These are organised as part of a complicated scheme that has 12 constituent elements all of which appear to be couched in rather obscurely drafted legal and financial jargon which Henry signs up to but does not even remotely understand.

Six months ago, Henry was surprised to find his photograph on the front page of that well-known British broadsheet, The Daily Stench, which reports that he earns twice as much as he actually does and portrays him as an unscrupulous tax dodger. Unsurprisingly, he is contacted by a Senior HMRC official, Thomas More, who heads up a high end investigation team on the very same day that the ostensibly reliable broadsheet, The Daily Humanist carries a similar story and also provides a damning editorial.
In due course, the overzealous More who is aided by is rather two less than efficient subordinates, Empson and Dudley, determines that Henry owes £100,000 in undeclared taxes. Additionally, although HMRC decides against a criminal prosecution, during an interview with Henry which is conducted under caution, Dudley makes it abundantly clear that he considers his interviewee to be “crooked” and warns that “the criminal path may yet be pursued”. There is much talk in HMRC circles of this being an important “test case” and of it raising “points of law of general public importance”.

Advised by Wolsey, Cromwell and a solicitor who specialises in offshore tax arrangements, Cranmer, Henry launches an appeal in respect of HMRC’s determination. In the face of strident position from Cromwell, he instructs Cranmer to brief a highly accomplished tax barrister, Robert Aske, who is thought by many to be a man of complete integrity to represent him at the tribunal.

In the course of preparing for the tribunal hearing, the very thorough Aske secures an adjournment and goes through all the paperwork very carefully. He reminds his client that there is a difference between legitimate “tax avoidance” and plainly wrong “tax evasion” . He also advises that in most respects the initial arrangements that were put in place by Cromwell are unorthodox but legitimate. His one concern is that the 8th of the 12 elements is very questionable and he concludes that there could be some element of tax evasion. This is something that More and his team appear to have missed. Also to the consternation of Cromwell and Cranmer, Aske advises Henry to arrange for his accounts to be independently audited by the renowned forensic accountant, John Fisher.

Fisher confirms Aske’s advice in respect of the above-mentioned point 8 and advises it would be appropriate for Henry who can easily afford to do so to offer to pay £30,000 to HRMC in full and final settlement.

Additionally, although Fischer confirms that Cromwell’s tax scheme is otherwise legal, he advises Henry that his method of accounting is not and that by dint of some shoddy bookkeeping and a significant element of overcharging, he has effectively duped his unsuspecting client out of £8000.00.
Pending the tribunal hearing, approaches are made to HMRC. However, by this stage, there have been further “revelations” in both The Stench and the Humanist. Such is the strength of a second Humanist editorial which is reported on national television that Aske questions whether his client will receive a fair hearing and requests an immediate mediation.

More’s team have not really put their case together properly. Before the start of any meaningful dialogue begins, the barrister appointed by HRMC, the very pragmatic Norfolk, advises that he thinks the case against Henry is founded on “rampant hysteria” and that what he terms “ill-informed media” have scuppered his client’s case. However, Norfolk also rejects the offer of mediation out of hand on the basis that “things have got past that stage”.

The very stressed Henry who is finding it difficult to make sense of any of this and “just wants things to end” fires Cromwell and “puts the whole thing down to experience.” He instructs a new accountant, Richard Riche, and gets his affairs in order but no offer of payment is made to HMRC and effectively, Cromwell is £8000 to the “good”. The abortive HMRC investigation process has cost many thousands of pounds of tax payers money, Henry has paid out almost as much in legal and accountancy fees as he ostensibly owes in unpaid tax and More and his team simply carry on as before. All the talk of “test cases” and “important points of law” is forgotten.

How different things might have been had the option of #mediation been pursued. Henry should perhaps have known better but in reality, he was swayed by Cromwell’s “superior” knowledge and probably acted in good faith. He was quite happy to accept Aske’s advice and a bit of “mediation common sense” would have saved the day.

At no point did the disputing parties ever interact or communicate properly. Effectively, unwarranted press intrusion distorted matters to the point that “people get away with things that they should not have got away with”.

Interview with Tiffany Ann of Dreams Recycled!

 

Brav-LogoWhat do you want people to know about you?

Tiffany: I came to the U.S. to work for Universal Studios. I then married; 3 kids and 16 years later; I then divorced. I was a stay at home mom for 13 years; after my divorce I realized it was hard to find work with what many considered no relevant experience. All I really knew at that time was divorce. I saw a huge lack of resources for divorcees. Thus, my company, DreamsRecycled, was born for myself and other divorcees.

What advice would you give others getting ready for marriage?

Tiffany: The number one predictor I see for divorce is even before getting married if you see a behavior pattern or personality type that you have reservations about. When you see a red flag but then still getting married, this rarely works long term. Often, I am told that spouses thought the other would change or get better only to realize, that who you see before marriage is most certainly who you will see after marriage.

Whatever issues you have prior to marriage you will have twice the amount after marriage.

How can we mitigate these?

Tiffany: Date with intent. There are enough people in this world to find someone who is compatible. Listen to red flags. Don’t settle and know that love shouldn’t feel like constant challenging work.

How could conflict management help in dating? Marriage?

Tiffany: We need healthy dialogue. Sadly, society doesn’t teach this, we are educated in so many fields, yet relationships and conflict resolution are rarely taught.

How can we help children from divorce?

Tiffany: There are really no winners in divorce, we must make sure we always love our children far more than we dislike our exes, and work together to co parent to the best of our ability.

Do you believe in love after divorce?

I’m engaged to someone with a similar story; divorced; three kids and a tech company. Find like-minded people through work, hobbies and more. Be 100% happy with yourself, before you even attempt to have a committed relationship, when you stop looking for love and are happy within you attract much better people into your life.

How can people contact you?

Tiffany:

Email us at info@dreamsrecycled.com

Website: www.Dreamsrecycled.com

Brāv Lift — the Mission

Brāv Lift’s mission is to provide free trauma therapy using early childhood development practices to address the disparity that children deal with after having been abused, abandoned and neglected.

IMG_0995We are striving to start with the foster care system because of the high rate of children in need. We are a nonprofit so any funding will go to paying therapists trained in childhood trauma recovery treatment. We are based in Utah, we will start in Utah with the hopes of getting a Brāv Lift program into every one of the 50 states.

We are trying to solve the problem of languishing adults by addressing the issues faced in childhood from being abused. If the issues are addressed in childhood then the child grows into adulthood with the proper tools to create a productive and happy life.

At least 5 children die every day from child abuse related issues. At least 3 out of 5 children are abused. Over one quarter (27%) of victims are under the age of 3. 1 teenager will commit suicide every 5 days, that’s 6-7 children under the age of 13 a month. It’s the second leading cause of death in teens. From ages 15 – 19 the amount increases to 14.2 per 100,000 teen males and for females it’s 5.1 per 100,000. We will provide the much needed trauma therapy to the group that needs it most, our children. By working with the foster care system in Utah we can make sure that the child who has experienced any type of abuse gets free trauma therapy. We can stop the above stated statistics from happening. Help children understand per their developmental stage that people love them and there is hope. A hope for a fruitful and healthy life.

The beneficiary is the child aged 2-18. I haven’t yet experienced the joy of helping these children. We are in our infancy and need funding to move forward.

Long lasting outcomes are that generations of children will recover from the trauma of abuse and therefore ending the cycle of child abuse.

The idea is to reach every child in need. Starting with the foster care system and moving into family courts.

If you have an interest in helping in anyway, please message me.

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