How to Apply Nonverbal Techniques During Mediation: Gathering Information

The information and techniques in this article are from Barbara Madonik’s book, “I hear what you say, but what are you telling me?” (pg. 62-63) Wiley, Oct. 6, 2001. Gathering useful information is one of the most challenging tasks set to mediators.  The following tools can be used by mediators to access information that is needed for a successful resolution, but may not be presented clearly by participants initially. Recognize Bracket Negotiating Sometimes, participants in mediation will have a specific financial settlement amount in mind.  Bracketing is a negotiation technique that some clients… Read More

How to Apply Non-Verbal Techniques in Mediation: Creating Rapport

The information and techniques in this article are from Barbara Madonik’s book, “I hear what you say, but what are you telling me?” (pg. 58-60) Wiley, Oct. 6, 2001. As a mediator, creating good report with the parties involved in the mediation process is an important part of promoting a productive environment.  When parties feel comfortable with their mediator, they are more likely to consider realistic options and reach a satisfying agreement. Madonik outlines four useful techniques that mediators can use to help parties open up: Anchoring, Match-Pace-Guide, Metaphors/Analogies, and mirroring. Anchoring Any… Read More

Fairfax County Alternative Accountability Program (AAP)

Repairing Harm from Youth Offenses in the Community The Fairfax County Alternative Accountability Program becomes part of Fairfax County Police Department policies county-wide on June 1, 2017.  While this is an exciting development, applying restorative justice practices to solve problems in Fairfax County is not new. The Alternative Accountability Program (AAP) launched in 2014 to address crimes committed by youth with accountability while reducing risk factors tied to court involvement and giving a voice to victims.  AAP is based on restorative justice (RJ) principles.  RJ began in Fairfax County in the Schools… Read More

Working Together for Youth

The Alternative Accountability Program County agencies have partnered with the non-profit Northern Virginia Mediation Service (NVMS) to create a cutting edge model for restorative justice: the Alternative Accountability Program (AAP). The AAP integrates the restorative justice initiatives of the county’s police department, juvenile court, public schools and community service agencies. Those working with juvenile offenders agree on the program’s positive results. One probation officer commented: “The Fairfax County Alternative Accountability Program (AAP) has allowed for low level offenders an opportunity to avoid formal court intervention without jeopardizing public safety. These juveniles are… Read More

Mediation – The Basics

What is Mediation? Mediation is a process where an impartial third-party helps disputing parties find a mutually satisfactory resolution for the issue at hand. The mediator guides the parties by helping them clarify their underlying interests and concerns. Mediators cannot impose a resolution upon the parties. If an agreement is reached, parties sign a legally binding contract that reflects the solution reached during mediation.  Generally, the process of a mediation flows as follows: (The following process is from a great resource; “How the Does Mediation Process Work?” by, Jessica Strepp.) Introductory Remarks… Read More