Thanks for sharing this Greg. It seems to me, a good starting point for a debate about how we define mediation and the range of practice that fits within the boundaries of our profession. I have been repeating an explanation for a fair while that mediation experiences sit on a continuum that stretches between the Sunday lunch table and the High Court's bar table.
I understand that what you have presented in the video is a series of snapshots taken throughout a much longer engagement so, I am sure that there was a lot that happened and isn't represented through the presentation. What I see in what you are offering though is a model of mediation that is quite different to the one we teach through Resolution Institute as well as how I interpret the NMAS standards.
The standards and the model we teach speak about exploration of interests and the creation of options where the model you are demonstrating here seems to go straight into negotiation of the outcome.
"A process of a mediator creating a venue where parties get close to each other in order to move an issue forward"
This contains the three basic elements of mediation.
Two of my mediator Sifu (defined as" the title for and role of a skilful person or a master" [Wikipedia]) are Greg Rooney and Barbara Wilson. Both are great thinkers, writers, and communicators and are acknowledged experts in their craft (mediation).
It was great to see Sifu Rooney in action. It meant more to me than reading about flow. Admittedly I got hooked on the step by step promises of Greg. On the second viewing I 'got' the flow concept. I also appreciated the push/shove to get a deal done… opening offers of $10,000 vs $700,000 with two lawyers, one QC, a dentist and two about to ex-partners is not going to get anywhere with a invisible mediator. Eclectism in a mediator is required, not a slavish adherence to a basic/beginners facilitation model.
I agree with Peter Mathie that the current teaching model is woefully inadequate
Thank you, Greg, for this posting and for your explanatory reply to Peter Mathie. Your pauses for explanation were an excellent teaching tool and has some similarities to Barbara Wilson's Mediator Expertise Live Interview (MELI) where an expert mediator is interviewed by a peer and questioned by a small group of mediators wanting to increase their own skills, expertise and competence. Barbara's premise which matches that of Peter Mathie and myself, is that basic training to achieve NMAS or similar certification, is totally inadequate:"Trained mediators subsequently claiming expertise ay not distinguish clearly - if at all - between their experience as a mediator and their achievements in their discipline of origin (typically law, psychology, mental health, social science and so forth). As a result, their mediation skills may be viewed simply as adjuncts to their primary professions. It is therefore probable that at least some practitioners promoting themselves as expert mediators do not actually possess mediator expertise".
(Ref: Barbara Wilson 2012. Mediator Expertise Live InterviewsSSRN Electronic Journal · November 2012 DOI: 10.2139/ssrn.2179587)
Ongoing training is required for mediators to maintain expertise AND competence. Supervision, peer supervision, online sharing of tacit and implicit knowledge via Communities of Practice/Interest are more productive than a sleep session/power nap at a compulsory CPD.
Mediation is a professionally lonely existence.
Reading mediation books and articles can never be enough.
Self reporting by mediators is notoriously skewed/biased/inaccurate.
Comparing oneself with live recordings of current expert mediators conducting a mediation (Greg Rooney's video) or live interviewing such an expert about his/her on- the- spot thinking/reacting/interacting (Wilson's MELI) are excellent examples of the future for training competent mediators. David Mitchell
Thanks to Greg, Peter and David for your insights and discussion. I am enjoying seeing the varying perspectives that comes from this community.
You all make interesting points and there are some important ones raised here which I want to elaborate on;
Once again, thanks for the discussion, I follow with interest and welcome comments re the above points from you and/or others.Many thanksAmber
A quick read of my article on the Eclectic Mediator will provide some background and some references e.g., " increasingly strident call for more autonomy (especially group or party self-determination ….this addition inserted by author)) for everyone and the belief that a person's perception and interpretation of their place in a constructed worldview is real and accurate, place greater demands on a mediator who can no longer use the same learnt style/ideology/process for every mediation. A wide range of emotions, beliefs and convictions can and do happen suddenly within a mediation and the mediator must have the learnt experience, tacit knowledge, and communicative skills to react and respond. Peleg-Baker found that the more complex a mediation the more the mediator needed a heightened understanding and cognition of people and of himself/herself; greater flexibility in discourse; and greater reflection-in-action and reflection-after." (Peleg-Baker, Tzofnat, The Cognitive Characteristics of Mediator's Decision Making: Beyond the Dichotomy of Styles - The Devil Is in the Details (August 1, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1640558 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1640558 )
That RI takes a brave stance that moves beyond basic training required by NMAS and adds further elements into its accreditation requirements. I was part of a similar move within the Australian Medical Acupuncture College wherein a minimal training program (called Pt 1) gave the medico a basic registration ( and lower fee from Medicare) and a Part 2 requiring greater knowledge (and teaching) , higher status and higher fee. Money can help learning! This submission was accepted in full by the Health Department, Medicare and the Royal Australian College od General Practitioners as the Australian standard.
I would this tail wagging the dog approach would work equally successfully for RI.
Solution 2. That Ri formally splits these two approaches and renames the EAMPs "Conflict Resolution" or something similar and the non-EAMPs reclaim the word "mediation". A common introductory (Beginners) course)followed by more specific training/streaming would economise on training .
Solution 5. RI needs to make/find a great number of appropriate, current Aust. specific, culturally and socially appropriate videos and webinars for novices and its membership at large (costed appropiately). Attaching a reflective questionnaire for return can improve chances of viewing, learning and justifying CPD pointsLastly my hope that the Mediator's Toolkit/Toolbox will fill in some of the gaps we four have so far identified.David Mitchell
+61 2 9251 33661800 651 650Contact the Australian Team
+64 4 470 01100800 453 237
Contact the NZ Team