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<xTITLE>John Cleese Gives Some Tips on Creativity: How Might They Help Resolve Conflict?</xTITLE>

John Cleese Gives Some Tips on Creativity: How Might They Help Resolve Conflict?

by Stephanie West Allen
March 2011

From Stephanie West Allen's blog on Neuroscience and conflict resolution.

Watch this short video to learn some of Cleese's ideas about encouraging creativity. Then find what he calls an oasis, and be creative in thinking about how each of these can be incorporated into a mediation, or other conflict resolution process. (Do this exercise only if you think creativity aids dispute resolution, of course.)

Cleese's tips (all consistent with what we know about the brain):

  • Sleep on the problem
  • Let the unconscious help your creativity
  • Maintain uninterrupted time for creating, avoiding interruptions
  • Get into the right mood, not racing around
  • Create an oasis in your life, a tortoise enclosure, with boundaries of space and time
    Give yourself a start and finish time


Stephanie West Allen, JD, practiced law in California for several years, held offices in local bar associations, and wrote chapters for California Continuing Education of the Bar. While in CA, Stephanie completed several five-day mediation training programs with the Center for Mediation in Law, as well as a two-year intensive with Center co-founder Gary Friedman. She has been a mediator for over two and one-half decades.

She is the author of Triversity Fantasy — Seven Keys To Unlock Prejudice, Creating Your Own Funeral or Memorial Service: A Workbook and many articles on workplace and professional issues for such publications as Lawyer Hiring and Training Report, Colorado Nurse, The Complete Lawyer, National Law Journal, Of Counsel, Law Practice and Denver Business Journal.

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Additional articles by Stephanie West Allen