Why InstantAssist Makes Sense

InstantAssist at InstantAssist.com is Mediate.com’s new service that offers immediate online (phone, email or chat) negotiation and conflict resolution coaching. InstantAssist opens for business on March 1, 2008. InstantAssist is having a Charter Panelist Training in San Francisco February 21-22, 2008. Panelist and training information.

InstantAssist is truly revolutionary. For the first time, we are able to associate the need for service and the provision of valuable service in real time. Our goal is to bring constructive negotiation and conflict resolution to every desktop, laptop and phone. InstantAssist is an on-ramp to people being smart about negotiation and conflict resolution. To the extent that “mediation” is the answer, participants will be directed to mediators in the Mediate.com Locate A Mediator Directory.

InstantAssist makes sense because it allows constructive negotiation and conflict resolution counsel to be shared at the earliest possible time at an affordable cost. InstantAssist only requires one person to have interest in improving a situation. This is quite different from a mediation where participants need to jointly agree to take part. InstantAssist is an on-ramp to people beginning to take constructive control over their negotiation or conflict.

There are three ways to gain access to InstantAssist:

  • an “800” number
  • live chat
  • email

All of these communicational modalities are tied together in a single web based InstantAssist Panelist Control Center. The phone, chat and email capacities are tied to case information and a shared knowledge base. See sample panelist control panel.

In addition to associating need with service in real time, another revolutionary aspect of InstantAssist is that it is geographically independent. So, for example, you can access a specific conflict coach in Vermont even if you live in California. Obviously, instant access to a designated professional would require that professional to be online and available for service. In addition to these “instant” services, InstantAssist will also offer scheduled consultations and follow-ups.

Also revolutionary is that geographic location is essentially irrelevant for panelists and end users. Also new is that services are available around the clock. InstantAssist will open for business on March 1, 2008 with a 12 hour-work day, but the goal is to quickly move to a global system available 365/24/7.

In sum, InstantAssist is a highly creative “reaching out” by the experienced mediator community to, in the role of conflict and negotiation coach, assist people to get on a constructive negotiation or conflict resolution path.

As a professional, is the InstantAssist panelist opportunity for you? Surely a critical issue is whether you desire to act as a negotiation and conflict coach. Another important issue is whether you are comfortable working with at a computer, as the interface for all communications, even the “phone” aspect, is on the web.

Perhaps most attractive about the opportunity are that you can work as little or as much as you desire and you do not need to worry about how you are dressed. Also, if something comes up, you just go “offline.” We believe, of course, that there is also meaningful earned income to be made.

Our belief, hope and plan is that, with substantial and creative marketing, InstantAssist will “take off.” We think it a wonderful mixture of technology and services that will assist to create better lives and a better world. We believe that we are so minimizing the friction for individuals to get valuable guidance that they will take advantage of the opportunity. We will also make gift certificates for others readily available. We also believe that InstantAssist will serve the growth of mediation by early dialogue with individuals.

For those of you who are motivated, please consider the February 21-22, 2008 InstantAssist Charter Panelist Training in San Francisco. See www.mediate.com/InstantAssistAdmin for information. Whether motivated to be a panelist or not, I hope that you agree that InstantAssist is a welcome and exciting development. We are excited to begin this noble and important offering.


James Melamed, J.D.

Jim Melamed co-founded Mediate.com in 1996 along with John Helie and served as CEO of Mediate.com through June 2020 (25 years).  Jim is currently Board Chair and General Counsel for Resourceful Internet Solutions, Inc. (RIS), home to Mediate.com, Arbitrate.com, ODR.com and other leading dispute resolution sites. During Jim's tenure, Mediate.com… MORE >

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