What It Takes to Become a Mediator and Start a Successful Mediation Practice in Your State – 7 Tips

The answer to the question “What Does It Take to Become a Mediator in My State?” depends mainly on your goal. In other words, are you interested just to learn mediation skills and apply them to your professional and personal life? Or you are also interested to make a living as a mediator? Depending on your case, some of the requirements listed below may or may not apply.

1 – To Begin With…
Here a few qualities a mediator is expected to possess: Excellent people skills, verbal clarity, flexibility, sense of timing, patience, sensitivity, non-imposing posture,
neutrality, objectivity, fairness, positive approach, stamina and capacity to concentrate for long periods.

2 – Basic and Advanced Training
Whether provided online or in a classroom, a basic mediation training will teach you: what mediation means, how it works, and what exactly you have to do to help people resolve their dispute in a way that is mutually beneficial and better than their alternatives.

Depending on your education, background and the type of cases you are interested to mediate – e.g. family/divorce, commercial/business, real estate, workplace – you may need additional training in those areas.

3 – Mediation Experience
In order to get mediation experience fast, you have two options:

  • Sign up as volunteer mediator for a community mediation center in your area, and mediate (or co-mediate) as many cases as possible
  • Participate in online mediation simulations with other mediators

The key point here is being able to learn something you from each case — about the parties, their conflict, and about yourself.

4 – Join a Professional Association
If you join a regional Chapter of the Association for Conflict Resolution, you will have an excellent opportunity not only to meet other mediators, but also to attend seminars and workshops.

5 – What It Takes to Practice Mediation in Your State
Requirements for practicing mediation vary widely from state to state

6 – Keep Learning
Visit on a regular basis Mediate.com (they have excellent articles and interviews), and keep reading books on mediation

7 – Marketing Your Mediation Services
If your goal is to ultimately make a living as a mediator, you need: a good plan, perseverance, and lots of patience (building a mediation practice from scratch may take a few years).

Giuseppe Leone