WHAT IS MEDIATION?
"Mediation brings wisdom; lack of mediation leaves ignorance," Buddha spoke in 5th BC. Human conflict is inevitable but preventable. Mediation is the most preferred strategy for handling human conflict, thus achieving amicable harmony between two or more parties in conflict. Be it an international crisis, a workplace conflict, a community dispute or even a family quarrel, mediation provides the hope for international peace, workplace tolerance, community coherence and family harmony. So, mediation is an art for people management and a science that can be learned in mediation training. It is the newest and fastest-growing career development and practice in the USA. We all know that coercive management no longer works, and consultative communication makes for a healthy workplace and a happy workforce. Managers, supervisors and HR staff are seeking mediation competency for effective negotiation, arbitration and counseling. Mediation also heals unhappy families and disunified communities. Hence, mediation training is an essential tool for saving millions in legal costs in the business world, and mending broken families in our life today.
WHY MEDIATION IN THE WORKPLACE?
Mediation practices cover vast areas. For example: international peace talks, community arbitration, workplace negotiation, family counseling, etc. But let's focus on the workplace conflicts. Downsizing, flatter hierarchies, team-building, quality consciousness, and multiple responsibilities are intensifying the interdependency between employees and employees and management. Most organizations do not adequately equip their staff to effectively negotiate work relationships in these challenging times. Studies indicate that mediation helps to resolve 75% of the conflicts in the workplace quickly and with little escalation. Comparing with the possible legal costs and lost of human resource, mediation is by far the most cost effective and amicable tool to obtain mutual agreement among opposing parties.
WHAT DO WORKPLACE MEDIATORS REALLY DO?
Mediators are often called middle men, trouble shooters , referees , ombudsmen and affectionately also called peace makers. They try to bridge between two or more parties who are in dispute. Be it an inter- or intra-organizational dispute, opposing businesses, management and HR personnel, employers and employees, family and individuals, there are mediation techniques to identify, isolate and resolve conflicts early. Mediation is widely practiced for legal, civil, business, family and individual disputes related to unlimited nature of crisis. You are a middle person who aims to discover some creative and fair way to settle differences while avoiding legal or hostile actions.
HOW DO YOU QUALIFY AS A PROFESSIONAL MEDIATOR?
There are three basic qualifications. In order of importance:
TRAINING IN MEDIATION
One must pursue professional training and certification as well as being accepted into mediation societies to uphold the mediation qualification. For example, Manager-as-Mediator Certificate Workshop puts the tools of the professional mediator into the hands of your managers to build better workplace relationships, enhance performance, improve productivity, and cut the unnecessary financial costs of workplace conflict. So mediation training has been mushrooming in the US. For a simple reason: most workplaces would rather spend their dollars for preventive mediation and proactive crisis resolution than for lawyers, union negotiations, and government labor board hearings. It is not only saving costs, but also preserving priceless human resources.
Aspiring mediators are seeking professional training in mediation, and also looking into professional certification in mediation. There is ample opportunity to engage your mediation skills in wide areas of practice.
HOW DO YOU MAKE A LIVING AS A MEDIATOR?
As mentioned above, mediation can apply to a wide range of situations. Some mediators choose to specialize in family disputes (divorce, custody, assets, and children); others are in business arbitration (acquisition, merging, rivalry, legal, liability); still others are in civil conflict (neighborhood, civil right, injury) etc. The newest branch in mediation is conducting training for corporate management and HR groups to increase their mediation competency for internal crisis.
In terms of tangible rewards in the mediation profession, many large corporations are willing to hire competent mediators to manage their internal and external disputes. They in turn save costs and time rather than risking possible legal action. They also value their human talent so to retain them by minimizing conflict within the corporation. On family, personal and civil disputes, most people have opted for mediation on their dining table for amicable solutions while avoiding costly courtroom disputes and damaged family relationships.
There are intangible rewards too, by feeling helpful to suffering people and problem situations. Nothing is more rewarding than seeing that people are happy again and companies moving ahead again. The relative value of these rewards depends on the mediator's personal values and mission.
WHEN AND WHY DO YOU NEED A MEDIATOR?
A famous lawyer and peacemaker, Abraham Lincoln said: "Discourage litigations, persuade your neighbors to compromise whenever you can."
"When do you need a mediator?" is a frequently asked question. It is just like in physical sickness, "When do you need to see a doctor?" The question of when and why is crucial to the healing of people and workplaces in conflict.
MEDIATION IN ASIA
It is predicted that business, family and civil conflicts in the Asian societies will be increasingly in need of professional mediation, because the old conflict resolution methods are neither suitable nor practical today. There have been increasing unpleasant incidents in neighborhood squabbles, lawsuits among family flesh and blood, soaring divorces and fights for child custody. And, in the corporate arena, there are mushrooming internal conflicts in the workplaces. The loss of productivity, human resources and company profitability are getting worse, and more is yet to come.
WHEN DO YOU NEED MEDIATION IN YOUR WORKPLACE?
An expert in developing customized training programs, he is also a sought-after creative and entertaining convention motivational speaker with a touch of humor. He is a frequent participant in public media (TV and radio talk shows) and a writer for news papers and magazines. Well traveled and has a global cross cultural mindset.
His unique training style "Traintertainment" is combining serious training and fun entertaining for the maximum learning experience. His mission is to help to transform people and organizations for their best performance, success and satisfaction.
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