What is mediation?
October 12, 2008 7:43 AM Subscribe
Please help me to understand and maybe learn mediation/alternative dispute resolution.
posted by anotherpanacea to Human Relations (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My interest in this started because of scholarly work I do on deliberative forums, where ADR professionals called 'trainers' are often used to lead small group discussion of politically contentious topics. I was surprised to learn that there is a whole network of mediators and conflict resolvers out there, with off-shoots in finance and law.
1. Most ADR/mediation training seems either extremely commercialized (aimed at professionals looking to mediate divorces or bankruptcy) or is offered to students and young people pegged as potential 'leaders.' What skills and knowledge do courses in alternative dispute resolution, conflict resolution, and mediation supply? Are there ways for adults to learn these skills and knowledge outside of formal accreditation programs?
2. ADR seems ideal for resolving conflicts among faculty or within an activist organization, for instance, but maybe I'm blowing it out of proportion. I've found the top google searches already: acrnet.org, mediate.com, and campus-adr.org, and yes, I've done the rounds at the various wikipedia entries related to ADR and mediation. The lack of substance at these sites partially contributes to my skepticism. Is there a there there? Is there anything more to ADR than a set of therapeutic and diplomatic best practices, along with training in drafting contracts to protect oneself from liability? That is, is this something you can learn by reading the right book?
3. I'd love to hear anecdotal evidence from anyone who has had experience with ADR/mediation/conflict resolution, either as a participant or trainer.