Skip to content

My Book

My Book

The Mediator’s Toolkit:

Formulating and Asking Questions for Successful Outcomes

Gerry O’Sullivan

This book demonstrates how to formulate and ask penetrating and powerful mediation questions that will improve your mediation practice. Knowing how to develop and ask incisive questions to get to the core of a conflict, challenge entrenched thinking, and shift perspectives is the main challenge for mediators and the key to reaching conflict solution.

Publishers: New Society Publishing, Canada. Author: Gerry O’Sullivan

“Gerry O’Sullivan has written a wonderful, well-researched, fascinating and practical toolkit for mediators. It is a terrific read, and one you will relish and be grateful for.”

Kenneth Cloke, mediator and author of The Dance of Opposites: Explorations in Mediation, Dialogue and Conflict Resolution Systems Design, California

Enjoyed World Wide

The ‘S’ Questions Model

‘The Mediator’s Toolkit – Formulating and Asking Questions for Successful Outcomes’ employs the author’s powerful ‘S’ Questions Model, to provide readers with the skills and tools to develop and ask strategic questions that result in successful outcomes in any mediation context. The ‘S’ Questions Model toolkit dives into the four dimensions of successful questions for mediation: the subject matter dimension, the structure dimension, the information seeking dimension, and the ‘shift thinking’ dimension.

The Model clearly explains:

  • The theory behind each mediation question type, including exploration of relevant neuroscience and psychology
  • The purpose of different types of powerful mediation questions
  • How different mediation questions work
  • When to use different types of effective mediation questions
  • How to build and apply challenging mediation questions to your mediation practice in a non-threatening way.

This essential practical guide will radically sharpen, focus, and improve the questioning skills of qualified mediators, students, lecturers, trainers, and those using questions to explore and effect change, in any context. It is suitable for all mediation sectors: Workplace Mediation, Civil & Commercial Mediation, Family Mediation, Community Mediation etc.

How to get a copy of The Mediator’s Toolkit – Formulating and Asking Questions for Successful Outcomes

Available at all fine bookshops and online at Hodges & Figgis/Waterstones, The Book Depository and Amazon. Also available from the publishers New Society Publishing ( If you are in need of the book to accompany the online training, then it is available in PDF format from the publishers:

  •  ISBN-10: 9780865718975
  • ISBN-13: 978-0865718975

Download published articles and reviews

Book Review for CMC – Civil Mediation Council U.K., by Dania Shawwa, Civil and Commercial Mediator, New Leak Mediation, U.K. and Switzerland

Reviewed by Paul Pierse, Non-practising solicitor, Law Lecturer and Advanced Mediator with the Mediators’ Institute of Ireland

Published article by Gerry O’Sullivan

Reviewed by Dr. Lesley Allport.

Endorsements of The Mediator’s Toolkit

“…stands out among all teaching, self-help and learning books for mediators… because it touches the part of a mediator’s art which most professionals only reach through sweat and blood during many mediations: the art of knowing how, when and why to ask the timely felicitous questions.”

Irena Vanenkova
International mediator, Moscow, Russia (former executive director of International Mediation Institute 2007-2018)

“At long last mediators have a valuable guide in the Mediator’s Toolkit… Highly recommended for facilitators and negotiators as well as mediators.”

Jennifer Beer
(author of The Mediator's Handbook; Negotiation instructor at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania)

“The Mediator’s Toolkit is a most welcome, useful, and sophisticated addition to the mediation and conflict coaching field… It will be a reference book for the serious hands-on professional for years to come.”

Dr. Antje Herrberg
CEO, Mediateur; Adjunct Professor in Peace Mediation, College of Europe; Former Member of the UN Standby Team for Mediation.

“Thoroughly enjoyable read as well as an invaluable resource for mediators in training and for experienced mediators, which will become an immediate ‘classic’.”

Treasa Kenny
Academic Programme Coordinator and Lecturer, Edward M. Kennedy Institute for Conflict Intervention, Maynooth University, Ireland

“As a mediator and trainer this is a must have book. O’Sullivan’s examples and cases are reflective of a mediator’s reality making the toolkit a valuable book to buy in hardcover and keep on the desk.”

Juan Diaz-Prinz
Conflict Management Space, Berlin

“The Mediator’s Toolkit – Formulating and Asking Questions for Successful Outcomes is a rare thing indeed – a practical manual built on a solid foundation of knowledge and theory. Set out in an engaging, user-friendly format, this book fills a crucial gap in mediation skills and practice.”

Sabine Walsh
President, Mediators’ Institute of Ireland, Course Director, MA Conflict Management, St. Angela’s College Sligo

“Mediators have to work in the moment, exercising their intuition in a flash as to what to do next and how. This book will help to develop the internal base from which such intuitive insights emerge.”

Tony Allen
Mediator and Senior Consultant to CEDR

“It provides mediators with a clear conceptual framework to structure their questioning, clearly sets out the theoretical and psychological underpinnings to these techniques… it is an invaluable resource to all those looking to resolve conflict.”

James South
Mediator and Managing Director, The Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR), London