We all know that Active Listening skills are in many ways counter intuitive. When we listen to other people we tend to follow our own inner voices, which leaves the speaker going it alone! We also tend to run with our own understanding, rather than a shared understanding alongside the party.
We use, or at least try to use this unique way of listening when we work as mediators. But this way of listening is a skill that can work for us all; no matter what hat we are hearing. It also helps us to create a good rapport with the other person in no time at all. We therefore call these skills Transferable Listening Skills. But we all know that bad habits can creep in the more experienced we get!
This is why we are great believers in refresher mediation and co-mediation courses.
Our teaching style was established when we started to do our co-mediation courses. This style comes directly from our relationship as friends, trainers and co-mediators.
There are different ways that mediator and co-mediator can work together, but we have always worked as equals with different qualities and that is also how we conduct our co-mediation course. We have had feedback with many saying how well we have formulated the co-mediation model and how well we conduct the course and interact with one other.
All our courses are very experiential, hard work and great fun with active listening skills and the psychological approach at the heart of the work.
We believe very strongly that co-mediation is the best way to mediate:
1) Emotional support – giving each mediator the chance to sit back and listen and observe;
2) Offers another perspective – each mediator will have a slightly different view/perception; both mediators benefit from each other’s strengths;
3) Offers a role model – how co-mediators work collaboratively in spite of having different styles;
4) Value for money – the fee is split between the mediators but the parties benefit from the input of two mediators while paying for one;
5) Provides opportunity for each mediator to supervise the other and look after each other by being aware of fatigue and bias etc;
6) Provides CPD.