I will present a draft of my article, Real Mediation Models to Help Parties and Mediators Achieve Their Goals, at the Works-in-Progress conference next month and I am posting it now so that you can read it before then if you like.
People can attend the conference in person or by video – and I would be delighted to get feedback from people who don’t attend.
I would be particularly interested to hear if you think that there are points that are unclear or way off base, if the article is missing important ideas or sources, there are problematic assumptions (especially implicit assumptions), and there are things you like about the article – along with any other reactions you would like to share.
The article summarizes my new Real Mediation Models Project and its genesis and rationale.
Noting that our “labels suck,” as Andrea Schneider astutely observed, the article suggests using dispute system design as the central theoretical foundation for mediation practice (as well as dispute resolution practice generally). Mediators’ beliefs based on traditional mediation models would be elements of the framework along with many other factors including the relevant practice culture and participants’ goals, among others.
The Project is intended to provide a more realistic portrayal of how mediators actually think and act in mediation. There are many potential elements of the Project. These include publication of mental models of thoughtful mediators, educational use by faculty, trainers, and program administrators, an initiative to develop a lexicon of clear dispute resolution language, and a framework for empirical researchers and theorists to better understand how mediators think and to develop empirically-grounded generalizations.
Take a look. And please let me know what you think.