From today I’ll be ‘going dark’ for a while, unplugging myself from my little mediation in your pocket project.
Having just completed the launch phase of the project, now’s the time to relax, to reflect on what’s been happening, to repeat that process a few times before coming back refreshed.
I would like to thank all those friends and mediators and conflict interveners who have either volunteered to test the beta items, signed up to register interest, or who have picked up pocketconflictcoach and pocketmediationintake, the first two conflict resolution tools I’ve put out there on the site.
Writing my automated conflict coaching course and working out all the technical complexities to get everything online and working, well, in the year since I really began to work on this it’s been a bit of a crazy whirlwind. During that time, I’ve learned so much from others. I’ve pushed myself beyond what I thought at the outset I could achieve. What may well have started out as a pipe dream is beginning to form now its first impressions on the sand, and I can’t thank enough all those I’ve spoken to and gained inspiration from over the last year.
So where are we now with the project?
Right now there is:
- pocketconflictcoach, an online conflict coaching course that maps out for you the parts of your brain and body you’ll want to pay attention to in the midst of conflict. It helps you develop proven techniques to increase the space between your impulse and your response, guiding you by the hand as you seek to carve out new habits in the lead up to and during difficult conversations.
- pocketmediationintake, a full mediation pre-intake in one automated process. Using this process, you can have a bespoke, dedicated page on my website, hosted at no extra cost, which increases the chances that mediation clients will actually begin the process and turn up at the first mediation session ready to sort things out constructively. It captures for mediators automatically all relevant client information, screens for domestic abuse or coercive control, and prepares clients to mediate.
- 3 Steps To Effective Mediation Sessions, a free ebook with over 7,000 words of guidance to those running a mediation process. I’ll be building a dedicated page for this at some point, and for now you can access it from the two items above. The idea of the book is to help you transform your chances of a successful mediation process, helping you focus on the three main techniques that will get you to resolution more effectively.
Since they were launched, the feedback I’ve been receiving has been so helpful, and as a result I have been able to tweak and improve both items bit by bit, so this launch period has been truly valuable. Over time this kind of reflection and improvement will continue, and of course, given the lifetime access you have for both items, if you pick them up you will have access to all updates.
It’s time for me now to go back to the drawing board. In the next phase of the project, unless I’m side-tracked (which, let’s face it, has become a habit in itself these days!), I’ll be working on these developments:
- more free resources, including another ebook which I’ve already started to write, on preparing for difficult conversations and controlling yourself in the lead up to or in the midst of conflict.
- email tips, which can be signed up to for free and which, over the course of time, can help those in conflict, and those intervening in conflict, refine their approach with a view to more constructive resolution.
- targeted help, and by that I mean directing content and resources to more specific areas of conflict resolution, for example in workplace disputes, family separations, community negotiations.
- an online conflict coach for young people, which will be a scaled down and even more accessible version of the Big Daddy course! This will work hand in hand with peer mediation and conflict resolution training in schools, with early intervention and support at its core, giving children and young people the skills they need to engage well with conflict.
- reflecting and refining, in other words taking all your amazing feedback and working to improve the effectiveness of the project over time.
And all of this will be done with a view to…
This is where my little online project will begin to really take off!
(…says he with fingers and toes crossed…)
As you will know if you’ve been following development of MIYP, ultimately the plan is to create a resource where, if you’re in any sort of conflict, you will have access not only to a number of tools to help you become more constructive, more balanced in conflict, but also to a conflict engagement engine, a secure, online portal in which you and those with whom you’re in conflict can seek to sort things out from the comfort of your own space.
In this portal, you will be able to chat, exchange emails and documents, and place video or audio calls with each other. You will have easy access within this portal to a network of online mediators, who can help you move things along if you’re struggling to resolve your conflicts.
The aim will be to empower those in conflict to retain control of engagement and resolution, to be supported and guided early doors before things get out of hand.
It’s a huge project, and although I’d love to see it live right now I’m in no major rush, as I want to get this right. This phase will also cost a lot, so if you see me scrambling under the sofa for loose change in the coming months, you’ll understand why!
So thank you once again for showing an interest in my work on this project. It really is a labour of love. The timescales on completion have always been flexible as I’ve continued work on this whilst juggling a regular 9-5, my main priorities at home, and my work elsewhere in mediation with Scottish Mediation and CALM Scotland…
…but one day, I promise I’ll get there!..