So I run a course on How To Mediate Online.
Why should you care?
If you’re a mediator reading this and you’re not mediating online, over time your practice will die. It’ll be a slow death, gradual at first, and one day you’ll open the door to your office, the one with all the plants and relaxing photos on the wall, and all you’ll see will be emptiness, and all you’ll hear is the deafening silence of the office phone.
Is this an exaggeration?
Possibly, and I do hold out genuine hope that face-to-face mediation will live on somehow, kept alive by the resuscitating thrusts of pureblood mediators and their ingrained perceptions of how human connections are formed or repaired.
Here are a few statistics to ponder:
In 2010, the Pew Research Center based in Washington D.C. reported that a fifth of Americans adults had made a video call either online or via their cell (mobile) phones, that figure rising to 30% of young adults between ages 18 and 29.
That was in 2010. Fast forward to the present day and here are a few more stats that might perk your interest:
Skype, which kicked into action in 2003, now has over 300 million monthly active users, spending over 3 billion minutes per day making video calls. Think that’s bad ass? On 10th May 2017, WhatsApp reported that its 1.2 billion users are spending over 340 million minutes per day video calling, a service it only introduced at the tail end of 2016.
So there’s just two companies out of a whole plethora of choice on offer for the world of today as it searches to connect online. Facetime, Hangouts, Slack, Zoom, Facebook Messenger. Video calling is just how it’s done these days, for pleasure and for business. I mean, who’d have thunk it? Who ever in their right mind concluded that we’d want to see someone we’re speaking to even if they’re not in the same room?
Here’s the point then.
If this astronomical demographic of adults are connecting online via video calls, the very same demographic of adults will still find themselves immersed in conflict, right? They’ll still fall out with each other, argue over behaviour and workflow and things and more. They’ll still find it hard to engage effectively with each other. They’ll struggle to sort out issues in the workplace and at home. And coming back to the plot here, they’ll still feel reluctant to force themselves into the same room as someone with whom they’re in conflict.
Ergo, if they’re more comfortable and used to speaking or conducting business online, in the comfort of their own space, and if they’re looking to sort things out with minimum fuss, cost, time and travel but ensuring that their voice is heard, listened to, how big a leap do you think it would be for them to choose a process that gives them all that online via video call?
(just in case you hadn’t sussed the answer, it’s “easily”)
learn how to mediate online
So I mentioned at the start this course I run called How To Mediate Online. I run it with Ewan Malcolm, who is Chief Executive of Relate London North West, Chair of the College of Mediators, and a Board Member of the Family Mediation Council. He knows his stuff!
Given the huge interest in the course which has been gathering a real head of steam since it began in 2017, I’m encouraged that there are many mediators out there other than myself who are waking up to the idea that unless they learn how to mediate online, unless they find a way to blend it into their face-to-face mediation practice right now, then in a few years time they could be left behind in the dust, scratching their heads at those plants and relaxing paintings in the office and wondering where the hell everyone is.
So we came up with an easy-to-follow course that strikes at the heart of that concern. Over the three, 90 minute sessions of the course you’ll learn about:
up to date formal guidance available for online mediators
the relevant paperwork needed including the online mediation agreement
how to build trust and rapport with parties online
all relevant technical skills including operating software
troubleshooting issues caused by technology
reflecting on & putting into practice your new skills in mediating online
Ewan and I will guide you through the process, so that by the end of the course you’ll be able to mediate comfortably and confidently online with parties. You will be given private access to a secure shared drive with helpful resources including downloadable video recordings of the sessions, and all the training you will need in how to mediate online.
To register your interest for free, contact me today, and when a space becomes available on the course we’ll be in touch to arrange a convenient time for you to complete the course. And once you do, there’ll be no stopping you – there’s a demographic out there waiting for you to make things easy for them as they search for a way to engage effectively with their conflict.