Virtual Mediation Lab, a project sponsored by ACR Hawaii, helps mediators practice and improve their skills by participating with other mediators in online mediation simulations of commercial, family, and workplace cases.
How is this lab being used? Mediators around the world are looking for places to practice their skills, while not always being able to get the face to face practice they would like.
Why is the lab being used?
- Schedule conflicts. Many mediators-in-training are still working full-time at another position, which prevents them from being able to volunteer at a mediation center.
- Geographic conflicts. Unfortunately, there is not yet a mediation office available on every block. There might be a community mediation center in every state, and possibly every city, these locations can still be too remote for mediators needing to fit practice time into their schedules.
- Difficulty of finding mediations. Mediations are difficult to schedule and it might be difficult to wait for a mediation that fits into the trainee's schedule.
- Comfort. Every JD student goes through a mock trial. Every practicing MD goes through surgery simulations. Doesn't it make sense that mediators also have a place to solely focus on practicing their skills? Without worrying about other people? Just simply a secure space to practice their Opening Statement, Reframing, and Negotiation Skills? And then to know that their is ample time after to debrief and receive feedback, in a non-confrontational format?
Who is using the lab?
Participants from around the world are using the lab to hone their skills before stepping into the mediation room. These might be seasoned lawyers, retired judges, or participants in an online Basic Mediation Training
In order to make simulations as instructive as possible, they are followed by a 30/60-min debriefing session to reflect on what happened during the 1-hour mediation session - what worked well or not-so-well, and why.