I came to Virtual Mediation Lab as a trained mediator who has had no opportunity to practice my skills in a formal mediation setting.
The Lab has, first of all, offered me an opportunity to interact personally with other mediators who have been active practitioners in the mediation world. It is difficult to express the feeling of “escape from isolation” which this offered me. Moreover, I was able to get an idea of how readily I would be able to translate my training and subsequent theoretical study into a formal mediation setting.
The fact that it was only a simulation made it relatively risk free with regards to any blunders I might make, but receiving feedback from more experienced mediators made the experience immensely educational.
An added benefit has been that the video recording of the simulations made by Giuseppe Leone allowed me to see myself in action. Since I can sometimes be my own most severe critic in that I tend only to remember what went wrong, the video allowed me to examine myself more objectively.
The videos had the additional benefit of allowing me to share my style and performance as a mediator with potential clients, and also increase the general awareness of mediation in my island home of Barbados as an option for resolving disputes.
Lastly, I am grateful to Giuseppe Leone and his Virtual Mediation Lab for introducing me to the technology of online mediation which allows me to dream of marketing my skills to the world from the comfort of my home.