Why All Professionals Should Complete Mediation Training
by Wendy Williamson, Esq.
I have trained hundreds of non-lawyers in civil mediation and participants frequently tell me that they wish they had trained earlier. I encourage you to complete mediation training sooner rather than later for the following reasons:
- To Minimize Attorneys in your Lives. Hiring an attorney to fix a dispute is like using money for home repairs rather than home improvements. Minimizing disputes allows you to hire attorneys for growth rather than damage control. No matter your occupation, if you interact with people, your peace and success will depend upon your communication skills and your ability to manage difficult conversations effectively and efficiently. Mediation training uses current research, hands-on exercises and role plays to exercise communication skills, to develop the ability to manage conflict and to build solutions through team work and agreement. Developing mediation skills enables you to spend your precious time, energy and resources on making a better life, business or relationship.
- To Manage your Stress Level. We live in very stressful times. Stress impacts on our ability to listen, think clearly and communicate effectively. In mediation training, we learn to create safe spaces where people can listen and reason. We learn how impactful location, timing, planning and written details can be on our productivity and success. We study how people think and make decisions, how to effectively be agents of reality, how to respectfully deal with emotions and expectations, how to manage our own emotions, how to practice active listening to avoid misunderstandings and develop trust and critical knowledge. The greatest threats to working relationships are miscommunication, unrealistic or unmet expectations and the perception of disrespect. The skills honed and practiced in mediator training will help you avoid these pitfalls and the resulting stress.
- A Proven Communication Weapon for a New World. Someone posts on Facebook, co-workers communicate by email copying “up the chain,” bosses text liberally at all hours or we join a conference call with faceless people from around the world. We can no longer rely upon workplace conversations taking place face-to-face or even at the workplace. How do we manage this communication blob? Strategically. Purposefully. Carefully. In mediation training, we learn to structure communication so that people can be heard and understood. We practice skills such as reframing, restating and brainstorming which compensate for the dangers inherent in conversations laden with opinions. Mediation is designed to bring back civil conversations in a world leaning toward voice-to-voice combat.
- Life Management. If you are like me, you find yourself having more difficult conversations in your daily life outside of work. Have you had a discussion about national politics or the Affordable Care Act lately? Whether we are in parent-teacher conferences, at our bank or dealing with co-workers, we have an increasing need to manage conversations wisely and productively. Mediation training is an invaluable life skill.
I hope I have the privilege to train you in the life skills of negotiation and mediation. Please join a class by registering here.