On October 17, 2013, we ran and video recorded the third online mediation simulation with volunteer mediators from these NAFCM Community Mediation Centers:
- Volunteers of America Northern New England in Maine
- Volunteers of America Western Washington in Washington
The volunteer mediators who have participated in our 3 online mediation simulations will share their experience with other community mediation centers during the NAFCM webinar How Online Mediation Helps Mediators Practice and Improve Skills, which will be held Thursday, December 5, 2013, from 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm EDT
After our simulation, one comediator (Greg) answered 2 questions about his first experience with online mediation as follows.
Q. About Our Simulation: What did you like the most – or the least – about this online mediation simulation? What did you learn? Did something surprise you?
I liked the technology. It was very user friendly and did not consume much bandwidth. I did not notice a delay in the conversation – impressive given that the two people on either end were 6,000 miles apart. The screen sharing and chat tools were very useful.
I was surprised at how well an online mediation worked. I expected it to diminish the personal element to a degree that would sabotage the mediation. I learned that, while not ideal, the personal element is still very much there, but takes on a different form (I’m not sure I can explain that very well).
Q: About Online Mediation – Has this simulation changed your previous views about Online Mediation? If so, how? Are you now more – or less – interested in online mediation than your were before participating in this simulation?
I wanted to do the online mediation because I was a skeptic, and this completely altered my view. I am now very much in favor of using this tool in the right circumstances. I am much more interested in online mediation.
VML simulations consist of 4 parts:
- Part 1 – 60-min Mediation Session
Mediators can play the role of mediator, co-mediator (as in today’s case), one of the parties, attorney or union representative in a family, commercial or workplace dispute
- Part 2 – 30/60-min Debriefing Session
All mediators/participants and their Coach analyze and reflect on what happened during the mediation. What worked well – or not-so-well – and why?
- Part 3 – Video Recording of the Simulation
- Part 4 – Video Sharing
Mediators can improve their skills also by observing other mediators, who mediated the same case using different mediation methods, techniques or personal style