Lawyer Monthly - July 2022

EXPERT INSIGHT 56 WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM | JUL 2022 more thoughtful, the mediator should pay close attention to their disputants, listening to their needs and what is meaningful to them. By practising with an open and inclusive mind, we become more thoughtful, open and respectful mediators. How can these qualities be effectively trained? Of course, the Lightstone Academy will help mediators to achieve their goals, but being effectively trained is more than taking a handful of courses. The Lightstone Academy training takes a ‘scaffolding’ approach to adult learning, meaning one skill builds upon another skill, etc. In the introductory Essentials course, training begins with conflict theory; why we find ourselves in conflict and how we move through it. In addition, the participants learn the process of a principled negotiation and mediation based upon Fisher and Ury’s Getting to Yes. All courses include a great deal of conversation, discussion of theory, role play, and group activities. These elements are part of adult learning theory and are meant for the participants to apply their own life experiences to assist them in their learning process. Once the foundational Essentials have been completed, the students may choose to move forward to the Quintessentials. The approach to the course is the same, but the depth of the content regarding the analysis and the application is greater. The final course, Media Studies and Conflict Resolution, allows the participants to deconstruct the theory behind a social media piece of their choice. This implies that the participant has a great knowledge of conflict resolution theory and its application. The scaffolding is the key, building one skill set upon the other, subsequently enriching the student’s knowledge base and classroom experience. By the same token, what do you find are the most common barriers to successful mediation, and how can a competent practitioner overcome them? Ill-prepared mediators. I completely understand that it can be nerve-wracking for mediators to move forward when there is a lot at stake for the disputants at the table and you are running the process. But that is not a reason for lack of preparation. Simple process pieces like proper introductions can create an environment that fosters trust and rapport and go a long way to

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