Incorporating Role Playing into Basic Mediation Training
The role-playing component is very important when you are learning mediation techniques.
There are three options for role-playing, and I encourage participants to take advantage of all of them.
1) Community Mediation Center and District Courthouse Training: The first option will be to get paired up with a community mediation center or a district courthouse that will allow you to observe, practice, and co-mediate at their center with other mediators-in-training.
2) Mediate Online: The second option is to connect with mediators online. There is a Training Buddy program, that many participants take advantage of. You would be connected with other participants going through the course at the same time, typically in groups of 2 or 3. Then you meet online via a service such as Skype, and take turns practicing the techniques, providing feedback, and debriefing the mediation. There is another option for mediating online, provided by the Virtual Mediation Lab. Giuseppe Leone has graciously allowed some of these mediation sessions to be free for this course’s participants. During this training you and another mediator will practice mediating online, and you might also have a senior mediator observing and providing feedback. You will contact the Virtual Mediation Lab to sign up for the next lab.
3) Role-play with the instructor: Via Skype, you will practice mediating with the instructor and possibly one other participant. Following the mediation, the instructor will provide you personal feedback, allow you time to debrief, and send you a written summary of your mediating.
It is up to each participant to arrange the specific times and lengths of these role-plays, to fit with their schedule and also to ensure that they have sufficient training times. This varies with each student. Some students need to fulfill a certain amount of hours to qualify for a certification. Other students need to self-govern to make sure that they are spending enough time in role-play to be comfortable with each technique.
The instructor is available to help coordinate role-plays.