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Helping Mediators To Do The Best Mediation They Can

Helping You Do the Best Mediation You Can is Part 2 of a two-part series presenting action research about factors affecting mediators’ individual practice systems and how they can improve their systems.

Part 1 describes a study of mediators at well-received educational programs to help them learn why they developed their particular practice systems and to encourage them to consciously improve them.  The study supports the fundamental premises of “real practice systems theory.”  Many attendees said that the programs helped them learn about their own practice systems and inspired them to continue developing them.

Part 2 suggests a practical program for mediators to understand and improve their systems, individually and in groups.

By investing as little as one hour, mediators can increase their understanding of their systems and plan to improve them.  This article includes links to a 20-minute video, an 8-page article, and an 18-question self-assessment worksheet to map an overview of their systems.

Mediators who want to devote more time can design their systems in more detail, using the menu of mediation checklists to include procedures they normally use and add others that would improve their systems.

Mediators can participate in ongoing educational practice groups to help each other grapple with especially challenging cases.  The article includes suggestions for organizing such groups including use of reflective practice techniques.

The article also includes suggestions for sponsors of educational programs, faculty, and trainers.

Because this article is part of an action research project which involves a continuing cycle of research and action, I invite readers to share their experiences which I can post on Indisputably.

This can be as simple as writing a few paragraphs or a few pages about experiences doing the exercises described above, noting what worked well and what might be improved.  Similarly, members of practice groups can describe experiences with their groups.  Sponsors of continuing education programs, teachers, and trainers also are invited to share their experiences.


John Lande

John Lande is the Isidor Loeb Professor Emeritus at the University of Missouri School of Law and former director of its LLM Program in Dispute Resolution.  He received his J.D. from Hastings College of Law and Ph.D in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  He began mediating professionally in 1982 in California.… MORE >

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