There’s been a lot of talk about values in the press, on the run up to the King’s Coronation.  Will the new monarch lead to a reinstatement of national values, are the old one’s obsolete, has our world changed so much since the coronation of Elizabeth II that we need a whole new set of values?

Values play a central, if unspoken, role in disputes. In common with our national values, it’s rare that values will be expressed, although these standards and principles guide our decisions and actions.  Within a family, there may be those who believe that a person’s wealth should be left to their relatives through a legacy in their Will (family loyalty).  However, others might argue that a person’s strong links and/or commitment to a certain charity means that the legacy would be left to that charity (community generosity).

A clash of values may be the reason why there’s a dispute, with people feeling defensive when their actions, guided by their values, are brought into question.  I have never witnessed anyone changing their values in mediation, but I’ll seek to encourage people to talk about what’s important to them, giving everyone the opportunity to reflect (but not necessarily agree) on each other’s values.

In addition, if the mediator can help the people involved identify common values, this can pave the way to finding a solution that everyone can agree to.

By Dave Warren

(Photo credit: By Mark Jones from Stradishall, Newmarket, suffolk – 1J4A9223-Edit.jpg, CC BY 2.0,

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