Mediation advocacy has become a key skill that all good litigators should master. Although it is uncommon to have professional representatives in workplace mediations (apart from Trade Union reps), we thought that some of our readers might find this article on ‘top tips’ for mediation advocates to be useful/helpful/informative. You can read the article which is published on Littleton Chambers’ website by clicking here.
We are always interested in anything that assists employment lawyers and HR professionals, in particular, to become more knowledgeable about mediation. An understanding of what mediation really is and how it works, will give considerable insight into how to make more and better use of mediation to resolve issues, whether in the workplace or elsewhere. One of the biggest problems for mediators is the presence in a mediation of a respresentative who does not understand the benefits of encouraging the parties not only to sit at the table but also to have a facilitated discussion with one another. The instincts of many professional representatives are to shield the person whom they are representing from any risk that something unhelpful might be said which might impact on a pending or subsequent court case. In order to do that they seek to act as a barrier between the person they are representing and the other party to the mediation. This can be massively counter-productive. A skilled mediation advocate will appreciate what good mediators achieve by encouraging the parties to talk directly to each other.
If you do represent or advise people involved in mediation on a regular basis, you might consider seeking out some training in mediation advocacy skills and registering with the SCMA (the Standing Conference on Mediation Advocacy). One of the key areas is understanding who the best mediator is for the job in hand. You can read an article we have published on this topic by clicking here.