I came across this on a listserv I belong to and thought some would find it of interest: MEDIATORS' "DEFINING" MOMENT!
Looking for a defining opportunity for you (and our profession) to be heard? Here's one such opportunity brought to you by NAFCM: the National Association For Community Mediation.
The Department of Labor (DOL) wants to know what it takes to be an "expert mediator" and have turned to NAFCM for help. As a member-based organization serving hundreds of mediators and community mediation centers - which, in turn, oversee thousands of skilled mediators nationwide - NAFCM is a natural fit to help the DOL identify the education, training, experience, and skills which combine to form our field's best practitioners.
Here is how you can help shape the definition of "Mediator" for years to come: By Wednesday, July 21st, at 5:00 pm PDT, send an e-mail to Justin R. Corbett, Executive Director of NAFCM, at firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information: Your name, Your contact information (phone, e-mail, and postal address), and A brief (single paragraph) overview of your experience as a mediator (or mediation educator, trainer, coordinator, etc.).
This information will then be shared with the DOL. A random sample of respondents will be sent a 90-minute, confidential questionnaire, available to complete either online or via paper form, which examines a series of characteristic and competence metrics NAFCM has helped the DOL develop. After completion, participants will be provided a congratulatory letter from both the DOL and NAFCM. More importantly, however, is the satisfaction of having helped to shape a detailed report on what it takes to be a mediator. This new description will be used by the federal government, and will be accessible online for all those considering a career or a volunteer commitment as a mediator.
"Expert mediators" can be market-oriented, court-connected, and/or community-based practitioners. Diversity of experience, focus, frameworks, and context is encouraged to develop the most robust, inclusive definition of mediator characteristics. Define your moment and define our field by sending a message to email@example.com NOW!
Jeff Thompson, Ph.D., is a professor at Lipscomb University, researcher, mediator, and trainer. He is also involved in crisis and hostage negotiation as well as a law enforcement detective. His research includes law enforcement crisis and hostage negotiation in terrorist incidents. He received his doctorate from Griffith University Law School having researched the impact nonverbal communication has in conflict situations with respect to developing rapport, building trust, and displaying professionalism.
Dr. Thompson has presented and trained on the topic of conflict, mediation, (crisis and hostage) negotiation, communication and nonverbal communication internationally for a variety of audiences including police personnel, government officials, judges, attorneys, physicians, sales people, business professionals, and both graduate and undergraduate students. He has also been published in numerous professional and academic publications.
He is the co-chair of ACR's national Crisis Negotiation Section, and he is an ad-hoc reviewer for multiple academic journals. He received his MS in Negotiation and Dispute Resolution from the Werner Institute, Creighton University School of Law.
(All posts by Jeff Thompson represent his personal reflections and opinions and not that of any organization.)