If you desire a career that allows you to help others and use your skills in communication and conflict resolution, following the mediation path might be just what you’re looking for. You may have already noticed that this field has grown over the past few years, which opens the door to an opportunity that can be incredibly rewarding for you. If you think you’re cut out for this kind of work, it definitely pays to find out more, including how you can take accredited mediation courses so that you can follow this dream. Keep reading to find out what’s involved in making mediation your next career move.
What is Mediation?
Understanding what mediation is, happens to be one of the most important things to know before you pursue it as a career. The simple definition is that mediation is helping two or more parties to solve their differences and come to a resolution. After accredited mediation courses, a mediator can help with both formal and informal conflicts and is a huge asset for parties who are trying to reach an agreement that everyone is happy with.
What Does a Mediator Do?
The biggest thing to know is that, as a mediator, you won’t be making decisions for the parties you’re helping. You’ll actually be helping those involved negotiate and settle their differences. As the mediator, you’ll be helping the parties involved come to an agreement by supporting both sides. Seeking the help of a mediator is on the rise so there’s definitely a call for this career path.
Once your services are sought out, you’ll meet face to face with the parties involved with the dispute. You’ll help both sides see from the perspective of the other party and help them come to a mutual agreement. During these meetings, you’ll allow each person to weigh in and share their side of the issue. Once you have all the information, you can help the parties create a solution that resolves the problem and works for everyone.
Other things you’ll do as the mediator is to allow each party to be heard and help remove the barriers that are stopping them from agreeing with the other party. You can also offer potential solutions and assist the parties involved with choosing the one that works best for everyone. Once that decision has been made, you can stay on the sidelines to help with details and fine-tuning as needed going forward.
Skills Necessary to be a Mediator
There are certain skills that come in handy if you want to follow a career in mediation. Having great active listening skills is one of the most important things needed to be an effective mediator. Being able to ask questions and clarify answers is also a handy skill to have. Empathy is also vital as it allows you to connect with the parties involved and being able to help them reach an acceptable agreement without showing your bias is also important. If you have these skills, chances are you’ll be a great mediator.
Training and Finding Accredited Mediation Courses
While you may be able to work as a mediator with any official training, it’s recommended to take a course so that you can hone your skills and pick up some new ones that will benefit you. Doing some training is also a good way to benefit your clients and give them the best that you have to offer. A good training course will teach you conflict resolution and helping facilitate the solving of problems. You may also want to learn about workplace ethics, what standards you might have to use and issues you might run into with your work as a mediator.
Once you’ve completed your accredited mediation courses, you can start looking for work as a mediator. Many mediators work for their local government, schools, universities, lawyers, large corporations and insurance companies. However, you might also find freelance work as an independent mediator if you so desire.
If you choose to work for yourself, there are some things you need to consider. You won’t be making a full-time income right away as you’ll have to establish your name and build your customer list. You’ll have to start out by coming up with a business plan and marketing system so you can get your name out there.
As you work as a mediator, you’ll build your skills and get better as you go. It’s important to keep doing the job so that you don’t fall out of practice. You might also consider doing some work shadowing an established mediator so that you can pick up some new skills and techniques that you can use in your own practice.
Remember that you might not be able to solve all conflicts. This isn’t your fault as long as you’ve followed the steps to help mediate the situation. In most cases, however, you’ll find that your skills and expertise will serve your clients well.