Comments: 5 Lessons Learned From Running Over 100 Online Mediation Simulations via Skype

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Giuseppe , Kaneohe HI     02/13/13
Debra: Thank you for your comments. The reason I haven't looked into small group meeting facilitation via Skype is that I know close to nothing about facilitation – expect that it requires different training, experience, skills and techniques than mediation (the only field I am familiar with). That said, I think that technically it could be done, and certainly worth trying. Skype Premium, the Skype group video conference version, allows up to 5-6 participants with a fast internet connection. Thus, not only the online facilitator could have joint and private meetings with those participants. He or she could also use (via Skype) an online whiteboard – similar to the whiteboard used in face-to-face facilitations. I believe that the possibility of conducting online facilitations can open up new market opportunities for facilitators. They could offer that service whenever a dispute involves different parties who live in different cities or states. In addition, online facilitation could be integrated with face-to-face facilitation – you could do a lot of ground work online, and bring all participants together face-to-face only when they are ready to discuss an agreed upon agenda. If I can be of any further assistance, please let me know. Giuseppe

Glendora , Washington DC   02/13/13
Willing to participate in the Skype pilot
That would be so great. I'd be willing to try Mediation simulations via Skype. Let me know how I can assist.

Oran Kaufman, Amherst MA   01/09/13
mediation via skype
Although not the preferred mode, I have facilitated several mediations by skype where one, or in one case, both parties, were out of state. Having the person in front of you gives you so much information and has a warmer more personal feel. However, when one party is in Afghanistan, or Germany or California, there is not much choice and Skype is a wonderful alternative. My experience with skype has been that it is quirky and not always dependable. I used it alot when my daughter was in Africa and sometime it worked great and other times not at all. In mediation, I always have a back up and if skype crashes, continue the mediation via phone conference.

Giuseppe Leone, Kaneohe HI     01/05/13
Debra: What a good idea. We haven't looked into small group meeting facilitation via Skype yet, but it is something that we could certainly test in our Virtual Mediation Lab. If any reader is willing to organize and conduct such facilitation (e.g. with 3-5 small groups in different cities, states or countries), I'll be glad to set it up with Skype, video record the event, and make the video available to anybody else who is interested in online facilitation. Thank you for your suggestion. Giuseppe

Debra Healy, Beaverton OR     01/05/13
I've been following your extensive work in online mediation and would like to thank you! The ability to reach so many people and assist them in addressing/resolving disputes in such a workable, cost effective manner is a wonderful addition to the field of mediation. Have you looked into small group meeting facilitation via Skype? Take care. Debra Healy