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Role Play Exercises in Mediation

Role Play Exercises in Mediation

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Making mediation training realistic and yet achievable in short training sessions is a tough task for all but the most experienced trainer.

This is the first of a series of ebooks that seek to make this possible for professionals, academics and trainers alike. As the authors say in their introduction:

"Because of its highly practical nature, role play is an essential part of mediation training, both for mediators and party representatives, and whether students of mediation are working within the framework of formal dispute resolution, or structured negotiation practice.

The UK Civil Mediation Council believes that the characteristics to be expected of an effective commercial mediator skills training course can be crystallised to ensure that ‘participants who go through these courses, have received a training which will equip them to (a) competently mediate commercial disputes (b) have sufficient understanding of the role and duties of a mediator and (c) therefore engender trust, efficiency and professionalism, and reinforce neutrality and confidence’. The Standing Conference of Mediation Advocates, a cross-professional practitioner association dedicated to raising standards among those representing parties to mediation, agrees.

Commercial mediator skills training courses therefore are structured to include not less than 40 hours of face to face tuition and role-play, and thereafter a formal assessment. Assessment normally includes the candidate being able to satisfactorily demonstrate his or her training in ethics, mediation theory, mediation practice, negotiation, and this in the context of playing a mediator within one or more role play exercises.

Such performances, during or on completion of training must contain at least one separate assessment phase of at least one hour where the assessment is continual, and at least two separate assessments of at least one hour each where the assessment is carried out on separate days. Assessment criteria are, as a minimum, to include the role of mediator being fully and properly articulated; the principles of confidentiality, neutrality and facilitation being evidenced;  trust and rapport being established; necessary skills to explore issues, interests and options being applied; the ability to manage the parties and the process being made clear; the ability to advance resolution through the application of negotiation and communication skills being seen; and the mediator demonstrating proper consideration of ethical issues as they arise.

It is for this reason that we publish these short role play exercises for mediation training. They can be used in-house by professional firms, sets of barristers’ chambers and academic institutions. They cater for common problems to be faced in litigation, commercial practice and community work. For international use, names, dates and currency can be changed, particularly the locale in which the action is set.

The situations also envisage different numbers of people attending, and the different  agenda of those present. As exercises, they can be expanded to allow for greater or lesser numbers of participants.

Each is preceded by an explanatory note, the players involved, and sufficient facts to be absorbed quickly. Common information may be disclosed to all participants; confidential information only to the named participants."

Produced by John Burgess and Andrew Goodman, two experienced professionals who have been training mediators and mediation advocates for many years.
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Contents are outlined above.

Note: this book is only available as an ebook - you can buy it here and it will be delivered instantly.