Which type of mediator training do I need?
Unfortunately there are mediation training providers out there who promote their training courses based on the idyllic lifestyle they claim being a mediator will give you. What's more, these are usually civil & commercial training courses when those attending really want to do workplace mediation, which is a specific skillset.
The main selling points for their courses are that mediation is a ‘whole new career’ with ‘lots of work’ and the ‘money is fantastic'.
On the face of it this sounds particularly appealing, especially in the current economic climate, where many of us are feeling the pinch financially.
I do think some companies are giving a misleading and potentially dangerous impression of what it's like in the real world. Don't get me wrong, being a mediator is a fantastic career and you can earn good money, but you have to get the work - in a flooded market that isn't easy!
So, before you do anything rash and decide to dive head first into a new full-time career mediating, as per the norm, I am going to be frank.
We get numerous fully trained mediators approaching us for work after they've been sold the dream and promised the world. Most of those who come to us have been on a civil and commercial course, or they've been trained by a well known advisory and conciliation service.
The reality is it's tough to get work as a mediator. That's why we only appoint mediators who have been trained through our accredited programme, are Civil Mediation Council registered and who we know and trust implicitly. We're not interested in creating a falsely large panel of mediators who aren't regularly mediating.
Whilst building a career as a dedicated mediator is tough to achieve, the huge benefit for most is having mediation skills in the locker as another string to your bow.
For instance, if you're an external HR Consultant you can offer mediation services as part of your portfolio. Our five day accredited programme would be ideal for you.
Similarly, if you are an internal HR professional and you wish to introduce a system and tools to deal with disputes and conflict within in the workplace then mediation skills will transform your career. No longer will you want to waste time in grievances. You'll have the skills and confidence to drive an issue resolution culture and our three day programme would be best for you.
Where these skills have the biggest impact is when you train line managers, enabling them to nip issues in the bud without the need to involve HR. Mediation skills are an exceptional tool for any people manager to have up their sleeve and because HR are no longer required they can get on with doing their proper HR role! For line managers our three day programme is all they need.
Whichever workplace mediation training programme you attend, it furnishes you with powerful skills, such as dealing with difficult conversations and tackling conflicts head on. These skills transform cultures and they save huge amounts of wasted time and cost. Most importantly, they eliminate prolonged and unnecessary stress.
So, before you do take that next step into the world of mediation in the workplace, make sure you attend a dedicated workplace mediator training programme. Please don’t ever listen to those providers who paint the picture of an amazing career as a mediator with stacks of money at the end of the rainbow by joining their mediation panel - I doubt it will be true.