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Qualities for Mediators

Qualities for Mediators

What makes a good mediator?



Full Transcript

There are two separate issues there. One of the organizations that I belong to is the Civil Mediation Council and they are trying to establish standards for mediators. The route they’re going down, which I don’t think is the right route, is to decide on a mediator should have a minimum of X number of hours training. I think it’s 32, going to 40.


My experience is that a good mediator would be a good mediator probably after 10 hours of training, and a bad mediator would still be bad after 100 hours of training. It’s really the assessment criteria that should be the thing that is standardized and approved.


What makes a good mediator to work? I think, first of all, that we need to be able to create trusting relationships with people quickly. It’s all about relationship building in the job and rapport building and so on. That’s the first thing.


I think also that there is a need to be, how can I put it, a sensitive negotiator. Commercial mediation, and I’m concentrating here on commercial mediation, is really an assisted negotiation. If a mediator is experienced in mediation, understands tactics, understands settles and so on, I think that it can be a tremendous help to people achieving a settlement in mediation. Those are the two things I think that are very important.


The second one tends to mean that mediators need to have some business experience. I think that although there are a lot of young mediators in, for example, community mediation. I’ve noticed those that I’ve trained who are in their 20s, particularly in their 20s, have got the world skills but have not got the world view, the negotiation skills, to be able to create confidence in the parties, which is an advantage to having grey hair and an appearance of being wise, which I tend to hang onto.

About the mediator

David Richbell Profile Pic

The late David Richbell was one of the most respected mediators and most experienced non-lawyer mediators in Europe. David had been a full-time mediator since 1996. He was the founder of MATA, one of Europe’s leading training provider for advanced mediator workshops and David was arguably one of the best mediation trainers around. Chambers Directory thought of him as ‘possibly the nicest person in mediation’ – judge for yourself when you... View Mediator