Your Comments

This page gives the feedback and comments that have been received about the website from people who have used the ideas and approaches described.

If you have any questions in relation to the content of the website that you would like answered, please use the form on the Questions? page for this.


Hi Alan.
I am a mediator/conflict resolution advisor for [Canadian Government Agency]. I also coordinate the mediations in our area and am responsible for finding ways to help our volunteer mediator network.

This article is the BEST article on questioning I have ever read and I'd like, with your permission, to pass it along to our mediators.

Your examples of both genuinely open and 'not-so-open' with explanations are very insightful.

Thanks so much. Ml


Hi Alan,

You have put together an awesome web site with lots of fantastic materials.

John Ford - Managing Editor


After reading the Rescuer Syndrome section of your website I was inspired to try Byron Katie's approach to her sons arguing.

Two of my sons age 10 and 3 argue some of the time and I always end up somewhere in the middle and nearly always being the bad guy to either one or both. It's impossible to please both and if you punish one it is bound to be the wrong one (in their eyes).

So the day I read your site as if on cue the boys had a big row. I took a massive step back and ignored the pleas from both to intervene and tell the other off.

I just looked on to see where this would lead. My youngest son, who generally comes off worse as he is not as physically or verbally able as the older, showed his frustration by tearing up a picture of his brother saying "this is what I think of you".

At this point the argument seemed to fizzle out and ended up with older son explaining to younger how by tearing up his picture he had hurt his feelings and then asked him "How would you like it if I tore up a picture of you?" Younger son said that "It would make me feel sad". With that their argument was settled and they went off together and played happily for the rest of the afternoon.

I was absolutely amazed. They had argued, sorted out the argument with older son explaining his feelings to younger and I stayed in everyone's good books.

I call that a result.

Sending you thanks

KC - Wolverhampton, UK


Your site is really good!!!

AW - Relationship Coach, Bristol, UK


I always interrupt my wife, and I have a hard time listening to her. I found some very useful beginnings to healing my inabilities.

Randy - USA


I reckon your site is just amazing with thoughts/words that many of us should try to embrace and the world could be a much brighter and more peaceful place just to be !!! Its really easy to follow the flow of your words and I love the links to other people also with beautiful ideas-thoughts.

JN - London, UK


Thankz for the Newsletter. I found the content interesting and educating. Keep keeping on.

0lalekan Rufai
Mass Communication Department
Olabisi Onabanjo University
Ogun state


Hi Alan, ..... your site is great. I've been reading all the material and have to say its already made a difference in how I sort out/manage some of life's little problems.

JH - West London, UK


Hi Alan,
I find your website to be very interesting and informative. My partner and I have a private mediation/consulting/training practice in Michigan. As conflict resolution specialists and mediation trainers, we are always updating our material.

We are in the process of designing a 40 hour Civil Mediation trainingprogram and would like your permission to use some of your material with the proper citation and any other information you may want. We will be including your website and your ebook "The Guide to the Principles of Effective Communication and Conflict Resolution" in our recommended reading/reference section as well.

Respectfully requested,
Laura Stopczynski
Conflict Resolution Specialist
Alternative Dispute Resolution Consortium


Dear Mr. Sharland,

A colleague of mine pointed out your article "Questioning" on I work in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia in Washington, DC. Specifically, I'm writing from the Multi-Door Dispute Resolution Division where we train volunteer mediators who handle up to 6,000 cases per year. We mediate all non-civil cases in Washington DC before a trial can take place.

Now that you know a little about where I come from, I'd like to issue a request. We really enjoyed your article on open ended questions and we'd like to publish it in a newsletter that is disseminated to many of the judges in our court as well as all of our volunteer mediators. We currently have a roster of about 300 mediators at The Multi-Door Division.

Sarah Minkin
ADR Staff
Multi-Door Dispute Resolution Division
Superior Court of DC



I work at a homeless shelter/rehab and I teach a class on community living.

This is a new field of employment for me. I can use this site for ideas for the class I teach.

This is going to be very interesting and educational for myself as well as others.

This site is a big help. Thank you!

TM, Kentucky, USA


Hi Alan...
I have just spent hours on your site as I truly love the eclectic mix of reference material that you kindly share. From Gibran to Byron Katie and the fab youtube clips! I am making my free hugs poster as of now :-)

I am a recently resigned Primary Headteacher (and now Shaman) who used meditation, healing words, conflict resolution and emotional intelligence as my professional essence. You have added yet so many more pieces so beautifully, by this incredible site alone...thank you so much Alan.

Joy in your resolutions!!!!

Anni with joyful smile :-)


"I did a 1 hour workshop where I presented your Facts and Feelings Listening Exercise. We learned so much about how we listen and the consequences of not listening well that I was asked to purchase your book and have another Listening Meeting.

My team just launched a project that could have whipped the team members and executives into a tremendous conflict. I required everyone to follow your rules for listening and it has been the best implementation we have had in 10years.

Thank you for your generous and comprehensive communications and conflict resolution information."

Angela - Information Technology & Systems VP


Comment on article submitted to website entitled 'What is a Bully?'

Hello Alan Sharland

- Thank you SO MUCH for this article! It brings forward some very key points about the phenomenon of "bullying" which I have been pondering for some while. Among others, asking to what extent can/should the person on the receiving end of the bullying/perceived to be bullying take responsibility/initiate steps to shift the paradigm? How can this happen without implying that the recipient is somehow responsible for the bullying behavior? To a certain extent the steps you suggest point to the strategies of NonViolent Communication: Observe and simply describe the behavior, understand and honor your own feelings and needs in the situation, and take responsibility for meeting them by making requests to change the situation.

There has been a significant upsurge of email traffic about bullying in the last year among the members of the Int'l. Ombudsman's Association (principally the academic sector). Much of the exchange, in my view, has tended to favor the stance of "recipient of the behavior as victim," without agency to change the situation, thereby perpetuating the problem and doing a disservice to all. I will be forwarding this article to my colleagues to spice up the conversation!

Laurie McCann, Campus Ombuds, Univ Calif Santa Cruz


Comment about The Guide to the Principles of Effective Communication and Conflict Resolution e-book sold on this site.

Dear Alan

I recently purchased your e-book regarding Effective Communication principles which I think is excellent and highly useful in a personal and professional context.

I am a teacher with the Skills Institute in Tasmania (which provides a range of vocational education and training in the Community Services sector), Australia and I'm about to roll out communication training in Tasmania's only youth detention facility.

My question for you is to ask if you would be willing to grant me permission to use the 9 principles of effective communication as a handout for the group participants.

I have an enormous amount of material regarding communication but none as succinct or as user-friendly as what you have developed.

All group participants are men over 40 and I believe the way this book has been put together will actually encourage them to read it, absorb and apply it in a highly complex and difficult environment.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards

Clare Thompson

Teacher-Human Services Skills Institute


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