What are ADR administrators looking for and how can I become a part of recognized panel that will send me cases? These are the two most commonly asked questions that mediators ask everyday. After the excitement of training and the emotional rush of volunteerism, many practitioners are ready to take the next step and join a worthwhile ADR panel. But what are these administrative gate keepers looking for? Here’s a clue . . .
ADR administrators are brokers that are looking for the same thing that every broker is looking for, something that sells.
So how do you market yourself as a commodity that sells? Consider the following acronym: (T.E.A.M.) Training, Expertise, Academics, & Mediations.
1) Training – In order to qualify for most panels you must have a minimum of 40 – 100 hours of ADR training. Continuing education is also recommended.
2) Expertise – Most panels would prefer a professional that has a specialty degree or an expert with a designation (JD, CPA, DR. and etc.)
3) Academics – Education is important, but you don’t need to be in an Ivy League to qualify. Your education could also be a specialty certification.
4) Mediations – The more actual experience you have in the field, the more marketable you become. You must prove that you have what it takes to promote your services to the public. Most panels want a minimum of five years of mediation experience.
ADR Panels broker to consumers that have a need for dispute resolution services. Consumers, today, are very intelligent shoppers. Some buy for expertise, while others buy for value. But most consumers want the same thing, credible experts who can get the job done as quickly and as affordably as possible. Qualifying as a member of the T.E.A.M will increase your opportunities of being selected as a provider and as a potential panelist for ADR brokers.
As the President of a national mediation panel, and one who speaks with consumers daily, I can attest to the fact that there is a tremendous need for ADR services. Be diligent, work hard, and do not forget to convey the same passion that brought you into this field to the clients that you service.
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