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What can different fields of mediation learn from one another and how might this inform current practice?

What can different fields of mediation learn from one another and how might this inform current practice?

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Andrew Sims, Independent Mediator

Keywords: practitioner perspective, innovative mediation practice, wider learning opportunities, extended preparation phase, cross-field learning

Abstract: This article will examine two innovative aspects of mediation practice that are evident in some, but not all, mediation fields: an ‘extended preparation’ phase following an initial pre-mediation meeting; and the identification and application of wider learning opportunities at an organisational level, based on anonymised mediated outcomes. It will explore the impact these two distinct aspects have in the mediation fields in which they are currently used, including their costs and benefits, and consider the extent to which they could be applied to other mediation contexts. It will offer some observations about how current mediation practice might benefit from ‘cross-field’ learning and it will conclude by urging practitioners to consider adopting a more expansive view of the mediator’s role and the mediation process.

Author Biography: 

Andrew Sims is an independent mediator, trainer and consultant. He studied social psychology at university and comes from a business background. Andrew has been in full-time mediation practice since 2010, working across many fields, including family, civil/commercial, workplace/employment, community, homelessness prevention and special educational needs and disability (SEND) mediation. He is an accredited family mediator (FMCA), a professional practice consultant and a fellow of the Civil Mediation Council, and mediates with a range of practices, mostly in London and the southeast of England. He was appointed as an independent mediator to the Government (DCLG) Planning Mediation Services Panel in 2012, and held the post of service manager at the South-East London Family Mediation Bureau from 2016 to 2019. He is a member of the College of Mediators’ Professional Standards Committee. Andrew is the author of a chapter entitled ‘Exploring the scope of family mediation in England & Wales’ in Family Mediation: Contemporary Issues, edited by Marian Roberts and Maria Federica Moscati (Bloomsbury Professional, 2020).

Publication Date:  11 June 2021

Citation: Sims, A. . (2021). What can different fields of mediation learn from one another and how might this inform current practice?. Mediation Theory and Practice6, 20–35. https://doi.org/10.1558/mtp.20711

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