Mediation Skills and Process

This interactive 3 day course teaches practical and effective mediation skills applicable in many areas. Participants will learn and practice key skills in conflict resolution, interest-based negotiations, reflective listening, facilitation, and structured problem-solving. This is the same successful workshop we have offered since 1992, taken by thousands of lawyers, therapists, federal, state and local government employees, judges, human resource professionals, teachers, ombudsman, and many others.

Course Agenda

Day 1

  • Understanding conflict
    • What is conflict?
    • Conflict styles: How do people interact with conflict?
  • Interest-based negotiation as a basis for mediation
  • Overview of mediation
    • What is mediation?
    • Styles of mediation
    • Ethical issues to consider
  • Mediation demonstration
  • Stage 1: Setting the stage for mediation – Orientation
    • Preparing for the first mediation session
    • Introduction and orientation
    • Explaining the process and role of the mediator
    • Building rapport and gaining the commitment of participants
    • Ethical considerations: confidentiality and exceptions, role of the mediator, Agreement to mediate

Day 2

  • Stage 2: Understanding the parties and the issues
    • Identifying issues to be resolved through mediation, common interests, concerns, and goals
    • Mediator tools: paraphrasing, reframing, appropriate questions, and summarizing
  • Role-play simulation #1 (Stages 1-2)
  • Communication skills for mediators
    • Non-verbal communication
    • Identifying barriers to communication
    • Appropriate use of questions
  • Stage 3: Problem-solving
    • Prioritizing issues and developing and evaluating options
    • Using caucus
    • Ethical considerations: giving information vs. giving advice, developing options, decision-making
  • Role-play simulation #2 (Stages 1-3)
  • Handling intense emotions
  • Power and power balancing

Day 3

  • Video: “Mediation and the Dynamics of Conflict”
  • Stage 4: Agreement writing
    • Essential elements of agreement writing
    • Mediator as scribe
    • Avoiding unauthorized practice of law (UPL)
  • Role-play simulation #3 (Stages 1-4)
  • Role-play simulation #4 (Stages 1-4)
  • Ethics in Mediation
  • Certification, credentialing and resources for mediators

About the Trainers

Tracey Cairnie, MS, PCC

Tracey Pilkerton Cairnie is a certified mediator/mentor, facilitator, coach, trainer, and public participation specialist. Tracey has over twenty years experience in developing and implementing a variety of communication and alternative dispute resolution programs, workshops and seminars. She provides services and training to a variety of government agencies (federal, state and local), businesses (profit and non-profit), universities, communities, families, and individuals.Tracey is also an adjunct-professor at George Mason University’s Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution teaching mediation, collaborative communication, and negotiation skills. She holds a MS in Conflict Analysis and Resolution and a BS in Public Administration from George Mason University. She is a graduate of the Georgetown University Executive Leadership Coaching Program.

James Q. Pope, MSW, JD

Jim Pope is an attorney, Supreme Court of Virginia certified mentor mediator, and consultant in conflict management and other subjects related to workplace conflict, employee relations, civil disputes, child support and divorce, and special education. Pope is currently an Adjunct Professor of Mediation and Arbitration at the Catholic University Columbus School of Law and an Adjunct Professor of Mediation at George Mason University School of Law, and has been a guest lecturer at George Washington University School of Law, Georgetown University School of Law, and Howard University School of Law. Pope conducted US Department of State sponsored mediation trainings for the governments of Israel and Palestine and mediated and conducted conflict management, mediation, and negotiation trainings for numerous public and private agencies and organizations, including the U.S. Postal Service, the USDA., the Department of the Navy, NOAA, NASA, NEA, FAA, US Air Force, US Forest Service, the World Bank, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Arkansas Supreme Court, IRS, United States Postal Service, DEA, National Archives, Virginia Supreme Court, Virginia Mediation Network, and Northern Virginia Mediation Service. Pope currently serves as an administrative hearing officer for the Virginia Supreme Court, in which capacity Pope reviews and rules upon state employee grievances related to terminations and disciplinary actions. Pope is a former member of the Executive Board of the District of Columbia chapter of the Association for Conflict Resolution (formerly the Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution – DC SPIDR). Pope holds a Doctorate of Jurisprudence (JD) from George Washington University Law School, a Master Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University, and a Bachelor of Arts from University of Virginia.