Starting at the beginning, Mosten gives the reader criteria as to how to determine if mediation is the career for them. Using the premise, that mediation as a career can really be your “Day Job”, rather than just an adjunct to other professional activities, he instructs the new mediator in virtually every aspect of the determination and achievement of this objective.
Mosten recommends methods of not only evaluating your “fitness” to be a mediator, but in addition, he helps the reader figure out how to build the skills necessary for successful mediation in both theory and practice. He discusses both the educational process and the job opportunities in the field. He then moves through the steps for creating a successful practice, including creating your unique “mediation signature”, “expanding your services”, “defining your target market” and even the creation of a “mediation friendly environment.”
With specific advice as to whether to open a freestanding office, and how to do so, including the specifics of leasing, office set-up and client friendly literature and furniture, he leads the reader through the process. He then covers the subjects of “strategic planning”, “managing” and “marketing” your practice. Using clear and concise elucidation, he “reality tests” the beginning mediator. The truth about what to expect is laid out in clear and businesslike terms, including what to anticipate in terms of income and investment.
Finally, Mosten tackles a discussion of some of the most acrimonious and poignant topics in the field today. Mediation styles and their utility and use are covered. The present hot topics of the field, including attitudinal orientation of attorneys and clients toward the process is discussed. He finishes by expressing his opinion that mediation will continue to grow in its utilization, including his perspective that mediation should be the first stop in dispute settlement, rather than an interim or later step in the resolution of conflicts.
As a final benefit to the reader, Mosten includes detailed appendices, which help the prospective mediator create the necessary tools and forms in running a mediation practice. He discusses the use of budgets and resources. He gives lists of sources for books, training and peer interaction. He fully describes for the reader a strategy for success, as a mediator. And, he makes it clear, that a full time career in mediation is not for everyone, but even for the most talented, there are inherent risks involved in embarking on this career.
Even for mediators with developed skills and practices, Mosten provides insights, which heretofore, may have easily escaped the notice of mediation practitioners. Tips on how to advertise and where are given. Explanations of the different styles of mediation are described. And, clearly, Mosten advocates an open approach and the use of multiple techniques and skills, which should be included in the ‘mediator’s tool kit’, in order to provide the highest probability of success. This success is not only in the resolution of disputes and conflicts, but also in the building of a fully self-supporting mediation practice. The book is a virtual must read item for any person who wishes to enter the field of mediation and peaceful dispute resolution as a full time career.