Mediation is a process of resolving disputes with an impartial moderator. The mediator helps to open and improve the dialogue between two or more people in the hope of finding an acceptable solution for all involved. There are many benefits to resolving disputes through mediation, and we need more mediators in the world to help spread it.
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When considering mediation training, there are five reasons why you should do so sooner rather than later:
1. Mediation is good for clients
Mediation helps clients because it is usually cheaper and more efficient than litigation, gives clients control of their schedule and outcome, and is private. These are all things customers usually value when resolving disputes. When most clients are aware of the benefits of mediation, they are open to at least attempting mediation before pursuing other options. The risk is usually small and the potential benefit is substantial. Prospective customers will appreciate that you offer mediation as an option, and existing customers will appreciate that you know about a service they may want to use.
2. Mediation has been proven to work
Most studies or programs that have recorded the settlement rate of mediation sessions show that approximately 85-95% of cases, mediation successfully helps clients achieve a complete settlement. Even in cases where a full solution is not achieved, the relationship between the parties may improve in what many might consider a success. A study of family mediation found that parents were much more likely to have an ongoing relationship with their children after simply trying mediation for five hours, even if they hadn’t settled down. Read more about this study by clicking here.
3. Mediation is good for the mediator
Mediation is a profitable process from experience. The mediation process gives customers power over their decisions, and even when people have difficult conversations, the majority reach an agreement that they feel controlled over. This process is empowering and meaningful, and it can be very rewarding as a facilitator helping the parties to have this experience. Although not all lawyers are mediators, as a lawyer-mediator there is a stark contrast between my experience in mediation and my experience in litigation. In litigation, people are often frustrated with how little control they have over the rules, process, and outcome. It’s much more pleasant to have customers who are happy with their process, even if the result is not what they originally wanted.
4. Mediation will grow
The growth of online shopping and services has resulted in a more educated consumer class in the modern world. Consumers want efficiency and services that are proven to work. Mediation is the settlement process that is most similar to the online shopping culture. If necessary, the mediation can even be carried out online, with the user-friendly video conference software being further developed. Mediation will continue to grow and providing this service is becoming an increasingly necessary necessity for dispute resolution professionals who want to keep up.
In Massachusetts, the law requires 30 hours of training to receive agent referrals from the court or to mediate with privileges. The courts are increasingly inviting mediators to the courthouse to help resolve cases. As the trend increases, there will be more and more opportunities to participate in mediation once you have completed the required training.
5. Mediation skills are life skills
After completing the mediation training myself, I recommended it to everyone I know, whether they will be a mediator or not. Most mediation training focuses on active listening techniques and interest-based negotiation. These skills will make you a better negotiator, whether it’s part of your job or just in your own life. These are skills that can improve your relationships and reduce conflict in your life.
If you are interested in mediation training, there are many options including two classes per year given by Divorce Mediation Training Associates. The next training is planned for March 2020 in Needham, Massachusetts. Find out more here: 40 hours of divorce training.
Register for the mediation training