Introduction to the Mediator Success Graph

The Mediator Success Graph is an instrument that will assist you in evaluating your potential for success in a professional, compensated mediation practice. It is not a scientific instrument nor will your score on it be a complete indicator of your potential for a successful practice. It however, is based upon characteristics of successful, professional mediators as identified through extensive work with accomplished mediators completed by the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution, Pepperdine University School of Law.

The Mediator Success Graph defines four core characteristics of accomplished mediators –credibility, knowledge, skill and commitment. It is acknowledged that in any particular mediation, a single characteristic may be valued more than other characteristics. Nevertheless, it would be difficult to find among the most accomplished mediators individuals who do not reflect a high degree of all four of the characteristics in their professional work.

Core Characteristics

1. Credibility – This category reflects those elements that related to the reputation, esteem, and influence of the mediator. It assumes that higher credibility contributes to the selection and influence of the mediator as well as the ultimate success of the mediation process.

2. Knowledge – This category reflects an understanding of people, conflict, and the dynamics of conflict resolution. It is based upon learning that has taken place by the mediator and the contribution of that learning to the mediator’s work in conflict resolution.

3. Skills – This category reflects an evaluation of the skills mediators bring to the process of mediation. Some skills are reflected by activities carried out within the process while others surround the process. They reflect those personal competencies that are key to the effective management of the mediation dynamic.

4. Commitment -This category reflects the degree of investment in both the mediation process and a mediation practice. It assumes that in most cases there is a relationship between degree of commitment and success.

Your placement on the Mediator’s Success Graph will be the result of your answers to a series of 48 questions – 12 in each of the four categories. The questions simply seek to define your experience and preparation. Obviously, your candor will help create for you the most accurate picture of your preparation for and potential success in the mediation field. The more accurate your picture, the clearer will be your needs and the ability to define a strategy for success.


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