Friday, July 25

Is two long days, or one day plus a sleepless night, long enough to train a mediator?

Joel Stashenko; New York Law Journal July 24 - N.Y. Court Establishes First Statewide Guidelines for Mediators, Neutral Evaluators

'New York has established for the first time statewide guidelines for the qualifications and training of mediators and neutral evaluators who are called into cases by judges seeking to encourage out-of-court settlements'

Under the guidelines, NY mediators must have at least 24 hours of training - and 16 hours of additional training in specific mediation techniques in the types of cases referred to them.

Is it enough?



Diane Levin said...

Good grief. When increasingly mediation training programs in the U.S. are moving to a 40-hour model, and when more and more of us are insisting that 40 hours is little more than an orientation, not enough to train anybody to mediate well, I have to wonder what the hell my counterparts in New York were thinking (or maybe smoking) when they agreed that 24 hours is enough to train someone to mediate.

Just what the world needs, more underprepared and undertrained mediators. Great.

Marvin Schuldiner said...

To get on the Superior Court civil and general equity mediator roster here in NJ, you need 18 hours (and 2 co-mediated cases with an approved mediator). That might explain why only 30% of cases settle directly in mediation while only 1.8% of cases end up at trial. (As a litigant, I've had some horrible mediators assigned by the court.)

When I went for mediation training, I got a certificate in conflict and dispute resolution from NYU, gained additional experience doing pro-bono work for small claims court and still didn't feel like I had enough training and experience to become a professional.

Sometimes I wonder if it's easier to become a mediator than to get a credit card!

dominique lopez-eychenie said...

I'm agree with diane Levin for training programms.
In europe, we have sometimes long programms with theoritical explanations. it's no more sense too !

in France, we have to do 560 hours to become a family mediator !
it's stupid !
40 hours for an orientation is a good time but where is the just time ? according to me it's different for each one. I don't have an answer and you Geoff ? I mean we need training and experience all time...

(I beg your pardon for my english)

Anonymous said...

Saying you can train someone to mediate is like saying you can train someone to be a great spouse. You either are or you are not and then you go get training on the rules and regs or something maybe. But read this definition of mediate:
to oversee an attempt to solve a dispute by working with both sides to help them to reach an agreement

A good mediator has enjoyed a life of some type of problem solving and conflict resolution and loves it and is good at it because they listen and truly know how to read people and the situation. I do not think it is possible in any time frame to teach people how to read people, read situations and steer those different attitudes into an agreement that may have seemed impossible a few hours prior to mediation. You can get 20 hours or 10,000 hours of training and you cannot truly train that into somebody. If you are good, truly good at mediating you did not truly get it sitting on your butt in a classroom.