About John

John Ford, BA LLB (UCT) is an experienced workplace mediator and soft-skills trainer.

jf_headshot John studied law at the University of Cape Town before moving to Namibia, where he practiced from 1988 to 1995. Initially, he focused on representing survivors of human-rights abuses. After Namibian independence in 1990, his focus shifted to labor and employment law.

John moved to California in 1996 and trained as a mediator. He has since successfully mediated hundreds of workplace disputes, and has worked with numerous teams to help them deal successfully with conflict.

John has provided training to thousands of employees at all levels in the workplace, across a wide range of industries. His workshops focus on the development of soft skills, such as communication, negotiation, facilitation, conflict resolution, emotional intelligence, customer service and mediation.

John teaches negotiation at UC Berkeley School of Law, mediation to graduate Business and Psychology students at Golden Gate University, and organizational collaboration online through Creighton University.

He is a past president of the Association for Dispute Resolution of Northern California (ADRNC), and was the managing editor of www.mediate.com from 2000 to 2011. Currently, he is a member of the Association for Conflict Resolution and the ADRNC.

John is the current trainer of a two-day Mastering Workplace Mediation seminar for members of the Northern California Human Resources Association (NCHRA). He also teaches a longer version of this class through UC Berkeley Extension.

It is this training and his passion to make the world a more peaceful place that inspired him to write Peace at Work: The HR Manager’s Guide to Workplace Mediation, and to found the HR Mediation Academy.


“John is a phenomenal instructor! I had the privilege of having John as a professor at Golden Gate University's Conflict Resolution / Mediation course. John is a highly organized instructor with a very strong work ethic. I really appreciated John's hands on approach to teaching mediation, his in-class peer mediation sessions gave his students the opportunity to run their own sessions and experiment with various methodologies, John's techniques are not just applicable for the mediation profession, they are also transferable to various work/group related situations in practically any field. John is approachable, has an extensive knowledge, and his open-minded approach as an instructor could not be overestimated. I Highly recommend John as both a mediator and a professor.”
-- Yelena Gertsenshteyn, Human Resources at Walmart eCommerce



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