Knowledge Hub | Articles

14 July 2014

Mediation: Stuck in the middle with you

We’ve all had to resolve an argument between children, family or spouses at some time or other – and perhaps without realising, have therefore mediated a dispute.

Mediation is an important tool for aiding the resolution of disputes and the demand for a good mediator has never been higher! With the Government and Courts now recognising mediation as a successful way to resolve disputes before they go to court, you could be in with a fighting chance of a career in mediation.

Our very own Nick Hallchurch, partner in the dispute and resolution team at B P Collins, recently spoke to The Telegraph about his thoughts on the matter. Here he shares his top tips for a successful career in mediation:-

  1. Tact, diplomacy and patience are all key requirements.  Customers, normally solicitors, must trust you.
  2. Rapport building skills.  The mediator must have the skills to engage successfully with all participants in the mediation process however socially and culturally diverse they may be.
  3. A wide ranging thought process. The mediator should be able to propose creative solutions - the terms of settlement are not limited to the parameters of the dispute and creative solutions can enhance the possibilities of settlement at mediation.
  4. Stamina.  Mediations can be lonely experiences for the mediator as they shuttle between the parties.
  5. Effective marketing skills. The mediator will need to identify a target audience to build up a client base and gain reputation in the mediation sector.
  6. A good CV will help you stand out from the crowd - these normally include testimonials from customers.
  7. Carry out observations of other mediators.  Every mediator’s style is different and you will gain valuable experience from watching experienced mediators in operation.
  8. Be yourself.  You will need to be comfortable with the style you adopt - this will become your “hallmark”, “brand” and “image” by which you will be identified.
  9. Understanding behaviour - the training courses will help you understand body language and other behaviour which you will need to understand to be an effective mediator.
  10. Creating momentum - it is important to learn techniques for moving disputes towards a resolution.  Parties can often become bogged down and it is the mediator’s job to create a sense of momentum. Again the training courses will identify a number of strategies for you.

Taking all of this into account, a successful career in mediation can be very rewarding. Not only do you have the satisfaction of resolving (often tricky) disputes, you bring a positive influence to people’s lives, you earn the knowledge that you have saved all parties significant time and costs and of course you get to meet some interesting people.

Still stuck in the middle? Read Nick’s full article in The Telegraph here: Mediation

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