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Using Skype for Cross-Cultural Mediation

Using Skype for Cross-Cultural Mediation

Tell us about your experience using Skype in cross-cultural mediation?



Full Transcript

Well when I’m mediating international meditations, parties are obviously in very different parts of the world. And these meditations don’t necessarily take place in one or two days. The parties break, they go back to wherever they come from and we pick up the conversation and keep it going on progress negotiations until the next that we meet and, and so it’s natural in those circumstances to use not just the telephone, which it would have been the traditional and old way of doing it, but to use other means of communication too.


I mean I’ve done this with video in the past and that’s very successful but of course it’s a lot harder to arrange, you’ve got to get a group of people together, you got to get them to a centre where there is a decent video facility and actually there are some very good video facilities going into some parts of the world for example India has got some fantastic video facilities now. And Skype is another dimension because you can easily just as easily as having a telephone conversation contact somebody by Skype and talk to them and you get the face to face contact. That’s tremendously important not only in relation to people that you’ve met but people you haven’t met.


For example if you’ve got an organisation which you’re mediating with and you’ve been sent in at the first stage a particular team, but that, that team may not be a good enough team, may not have enough authority for the direction which the talks are going. So the talks may be going in relation to a much bigger or very different deal than the one that was being mediated at the start. And as you do that you need to go up the ladder, break through some of the hierarchies, speak to some of the more senior people and, so you can do this on Skype, get the face to face contact and persuade the man or woman that they must be there at the next meeting wherever that’s going to be and, and when you get to that meeting you feel as if, I certainly feel and I think they would feel that we’ve already met. So it’s much smoother when you get to that second meeting.

About the mediator

Liz Birch Profile Pic

Q.D.R (Qualified Mediator) 1995; Advanced Mediator training (MATA) 2005; Distinguished Fellow of the International Academy of Mediators, California (IAM); FCIArb 1993; Chartered Arbitrator 1998; Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration (CIA) 1998; Full Member of LMAA (London Maritime Arbitrator’s Association); One of first mediators certified by IMI/MATA for Intercultural Competency 2012. Elizabeth practised as a barrister in London ... View Mediator