Mediate.com has launched a revolutionary family & divorce mediation training. This article discusses the factors that led to the making of this new training, including accelerated practice, acceptance of online learning, advances in technology, allowing ownership, and appreciating diversity.
The NEW Mediate.com Family Dispute Resolution Training is available HERE
Here are the Family Dispute Resolution Course Trainers:
( To see ALL online Mediate.com Family & Divorce Mediation Trainings, go HERE )
Here are the 5 factors that made the new Family Dispute Resolution Training possible:
- Accelerated Practice
- Acceptance of Online Learning
- Advances in Technology
- Allowing Ownership
- Appreciation of Diversity
What makes this training unique is that we were able to take leading practitioners in the family mediation field and have them each present on specific areas of their expertise. This means that every session is presented from a place of both experience and passion. It also means that online training participants are able to see and hear 17 different voices, styles, personalities, and approaches to the family and divorce mediation field. This means that you are ultimately able to select and follow particular models and approaches and you design and refine your own practice. When describing the process to Michael Aurit, Past President of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators (APFM), he said, "This is the most diverse approach to a family training that has ever been launched."
What are the new factors that make this type of training valuable now?
1. Accelerated Practice
Following on decades counseling new mediators how to build a successful family mediation practice, we got used to telling new practitioners that it would commonly take 3 years of focused development work, or 5 years of part-time development, to be successful. However, the world around us has now sped up, and we can take advantage of this to accelerate our own personal career growth.
Mediators who are savvy about taking advantage of technology, including writing articles, building on existing clients, posting blogs, improving your website, developing social media links, and automating tools for visitor engagement, can have you developing a successful practice within 6 months!
What this means is that practices are now launching faster and new practitioners are now expecting to receive their training faster. So, instead of a semester long training, students are now able to move through multiple online trainings at your own pace. You can watch an entire training in a week, and/or slowly visit and revisit each high interest video. Mediate.com is also now providing students with access to a variety of divorce forms and agreement templates--so that participants can complete your training also with a complete suite of practice documents.
2. Acceptance of Online Learning
With family mediation practices shifting online with the pandemic, it quickly has became socially accpetable to see people (including mediators) working from home. We also have now accepted the idea of mediation trainers working from a home environment and training us remotely. And there have been 2 additional benefits. First, as we realized that we were going to working with our clients online, we now also value online trainings to learn new online tips and tricks. Initially, it was breakout rooms and screen sharing, then encryption, whiteboards, interactive tools (polls, reactions, hand raising), and now interactions with other platforms (docusign, dropbox, calendly). Watching trainers navigate screen-sharing and remote Agreement signing helps us to pick up these same skills to use with our clients. The second benefit from the shift to online training is that our we have now better learned how to learn online. This has required a shift in focus and accepting a different type of personal engagement. One upside is that are are able to more efficiently "fit" more information into available time-frames.
3. Advances in Technology
Imagine if we had been forced to quarantine 10 years ago before video conferencing or secure communications were readily available? The recent advances in video-conferencing have allowed us to communicate with each other easily and confidentially. The improvements in technology have also created improvements in our learning tools. Specifically, we now have the ability to engage with participants in a new variety of ways.
Anyone who has listened to Temple Grandin understands that there are 100's of different learning styles, and that the traditional lecture-listen method just doesn't cut it for many people. There also need to be audio and visual guides,which explain concepts in words and pictures. We also now need the ability to rapidly shift focus, shifting, for example, from an intimate view of an individual participant face to considering lots of text on a highlighted slide. Skilled trainers are able to take advantage of the online environment to create fast-paced, engaging, and highly effective training.
In part, this is due to the "Primacy/Recency Effect." Our brains tune in whenever there is change in presentation modality. Using technological tools, such as screensharing, reactions, whiteboards, help our brains to stay interested and engaged. Also, changing the trainer helps to keep your brain engaged by the newness and variety of presentation syyles and personalities. New online technologies have helped the new Mediate.com Family Dispute Resolution Training to be both interactive and engaging for our brains.
4. Allowing Ownership
When Mediate.com began in 1996, practitioners focused dominantly on "the mediating" and were pleased to leave practice administration and promotion to others. Now mediators commonly want advice on how to best manage their practices and what advertising best works. In short, mediators have now commonly taken broader ownership over their entire mediationn business. One result of this greater ownership of our mediation businesses is that this has created more diversity in the mediation field. There is simply no such thing as a cookie-cutter mediation practice anymore. Family mediators are now coming from and focused on a wider variety of foci -- including the military, special-ed, vintners, animal custody and elder issue matters to name a few. Instead of giving training participants the same cookie-cutter forms, we are now providing a variety of templates to choose from. Participants are encouraged to take our variety of forms and make them their own, creating practice tools consistent with your values and branding.
5. Appreciation of Diversity
What we are most excited about in the new Mediate.com Family Dispute Resolution Training is an expanded appreciation of diversity in the family mediation field. The traditional approach to training was that you were trained mostly by one trainer who commonly became your role model (if not guru). The strength of this approach was that a training participant tended to bond with a lead trainer as a mentor, who would point participants in the "right direction" and debrief difficult mediation sessions with you. The downside was that, unless their style fully matches yours, it would often take a long time for trainees to find their own unique voice as mediator.
Moving online has valuably supported participants now having an expectation of diverse styles, and Mediate.com has catapulted on this expectation by providing access to 17 different mediator styles. We began by choosing most valuable topics, then identifying thought-leaders in those specific topics. We also we went through our list of different mediation approaches that we thought deserved to be represented: quiet and charismatic, a spectrum of ages, gender and affiliations, a variety of cultures, different backgrounds and professions, a variety of mediation styles (narrative, evaluative, transformational, etc.), time-efficient vs. unhurried, and gentle vs. bold.
Our hope and goal is that, by effectively using our new available online technologies and, by taking advantage of a variety of learning styles, we can provide you with a range of skills and approaches to best design and grow the latest and greatest in innovative and effective mediation practice: yours!
The NEW Mediate.com Family Dispute Resolution Training is availale HERE
To see ALL online Mediate.com Family & Divorce Mediation Trainings, go HERE
Clare Fowler is Executive Vice-President and Managing Editor at Mediate.com. Clare received her Master's of Dispute Resolution from the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution at the Pepperdine University School of Law and her Doctorate in Organizational Leadership, focused on reducing workplace conflicts, from Pepperdine University School of Education. Clare also coordinated the career development program for The Straus Institute dispute resolution students. In addition to her editorial duties at Mediate.com, Clare coordinates online case management for ADR programs, agencies and courts.
Colin Rule is CEO of Resourceful Internet Solutions, Inc. ("RIS"), home of Mediate.com, MediateUniversity.com, Arbitrate.com, CaseloadManager.com and a number of additional leading online dispute resolution initiatives. From 2017 to 2020, Colin was Vice President for Online Dispute Resolution at Tyler Technologies. Tyler acquired Modria.com, an ODR provider that Colin co-founded, in 2017. Previously, from 2003 to 2011, Colin was Director of Online Dispute Resolution for eBay and PayPal. Further, Colin co-founded Online Resolution in 1999, one of the first online dispute resolution (ODR) providers, and served as its CEO and President. Colin also worked for several years with the National Institute for Dispute Resolution in Washington, D.C. and the Consensus Building Institute in Cambridge, MA.
Colin is the author of Online Dispute Resolution for Business, published by Jossey-Bass in September 2002, and co-author of The New Handshake: Online Dispute Resolution and the Future of Consumer Protection, published by the ABA in 2017. Colin received the first Frank Sander Award for Innovation in ADR from the American Bar Association in 2020, and the Mary Parker Follett Award from the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) in 2013. Colin holds a Master’s degree from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in conflict resolution and technology, a graduate certificate in dispute resolution from UMass-Boston, a B.A. from Haverford College, and Colin served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Eritrea from 1995-1997. You can read many of Colin's articles and see some of his talks at colinrule.com/writing.