Improving the mediation process
Dates: March 2011 – On-going
“The pooling of this experience will lift/move the practice of mediation forward rather than have an individual’s experience be kept secret and to die with them which sadly has been a prevalent attitude among some mediators.”
Frances Maynard, Mediator and Trainer
By 2010 CEDR had become aware that experienced mediators were showing concerns that mediation theory had been lacking significant new intellectual development in recent years. The aim of the ‘Innovation Lab’ is to invigorate the field of mediation by providing a forum for critiquing approaches being used - challenging some of the field’s long standing beliefs and developing innovative ideas and initiatives for effective mediation practice.
The Innovation Lab project has captured the imaginations of many people who work in ADR. Enabling us to form a group of experienced practitioners and experts interested progressing in the field. It is seen as a very worthwhile project and the consensus is certainly that some form of practical review is necessary to keep evolving the field.
The Workings of the Lab
The process we have employed is to divide the group by interest areas, then within the smaller more focused groups looking specifically at topics such as confidentiality; joint meetings; negotiation and the role of the mediator; and process models. The participants are looking at current practice to ask several key questions, such as:
• Is what we teach the same as what we practice?
• Could we describe what we practice more accurately?
• What things do experienced mediators say, do or know to make this more effective in practice?
Once these have been reviewed we aim to publish one article per quarter on the CEDR website, as well as in conflict resolution journals and magazines on a quarterly basis.
“I would expect other mediators reading our output would similarly gain from considering our views and the issues we identified.” Alan Jacobs, DLA Piper
“The project should encourage on-going discussion regarding mediation thereby helping to keep the concept fresh for potential users.” Neil Goodrum, McCormicks Solicitor