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Mediation is a wonderfully flexible dispute resolution process. It offers a safe haven for people in conflict who use a third-party neutral as they seek to resolve differences on their own terms. Many texts exist to train mediators that offer guidance regarding the role of mediators, typical stages of mediation, basic negotiation theory, ethics, and communication skills. Mediators who have been around the block once or twice need more sophisticated topics as they continually strive to improve their skills. This book addresses that need.
Chapter 1 provides an overview of mediation, intended to confirm basic knowledge and skills taught in beginning mediation training. Chapter 2 emphasizes the importance of mediation preparation. Although it includes some basic information about the convening process, it is focused on how that information can be helpful for the parties' preparation, and how mediators can help coach parties and their representatives to prepare for mediation. Chapter 3 takes basic negotiation information and expands upon it. In particular, the chapter highlights the importance of approaching negotiation in a systematic, objective manner.
Several chapters cover topics in detail that might have been mentioned in basic mediation training, but not actually taught. Chapter 4 presents a thorough discussion of apology and forgiveness and instructs mediators how to coach participants to make effective, genuine use of these concepts during mediation. Chapter 5 presents the topic of trust. Chapter 6 presents a discussion of key mediation values-those individual standards found within a set of mediation standards of conduct. Chapter 7 addresses advanced ethical issues. These include mediator manipulation, informed consent, and good faith participation by mediation participants. Chapter 9 regarding mediator malpractice focuses on individual mediator conduct, while Chapter 10, regarding quality control for the mediation field, focuses on the mediation field as a whole.
Chapter 8 is different from all other chapters. It includes a series of vignettes that pose tactical dilemmas for mediators. Guest contributors respond to each vignette, showing the diversity in which mediators perceive their role.
Chapters 11 and 12 cover online dispute resolution (ODR) and the progressive nature of mediation, respectively.
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