CMP Resolution Blog by Lesley Allport and Katherine Graham.
When I train mediators I explain there are four main ingredients to their learning:
the structure of mediation
the language and approach of a mediator
the self awareness of the mediator
and mediation practice
Learning the structure is the most straightforward bit and the one many clients thinks means the job’s done – they now have mediators on site.
But the other ingredients are an ongoing process of life-long learning. Trainees make huge progress during our mediation course but the real learning begins when putting the skills into practice.
Mediation training is like passing your driving test
Completing the mediation training is what ensures you don’t pose an unreasonable risk to others ‘on the road’ – but it is only the start, and certainly doesn’t make you a ‘good driver’.
I am lucky in that I am permanently immersed in mediation and I have experienced mediator colleagues as well as regular supervision to ensure that I continue to learn from my mediation experiences. But most mediators are mediating on a very part-time basis and have to juggle the role with a variety of sometimes quite different roles. Taking the time to reflect on and refine your mediation practice is hugely important. And this is what our Mediation Master Classes offer.
Rekindle the flame of mediation
It is very rewarding for me to run our Mediation Master Classes because people who have been out there mediating come together to share and learn from their experiences and the experience of others. I provide a sounding board to refine their mediation skills and to remember best practice. We look at specific issues, practise key skills and rekindle the flame of mediation. I am sure I would have developed more quickly as a mediator if this had been available to me early in my career!
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