“Absolutely inspirational! A truly engaging, enjoyable course”
This was said of the Accredited Mediation Training Course recently run for Volunteer Mediators with Smile Mediation Burnley. The course begins with an exploration of the ‘landscape’ thinking about why and how conflict and disagreement happen and how in far too many situations it becomes negative, discouraging and destructive. Participants then learn of the role and place of mediation in working in conflict situations, creating opportunities for positive and mutual ways of resolving disagreements and disputes, through creative and curious communication strategies and skills. Key to the training is an understanding of a core mediation process, which participants are encouraged to know, use and develop, being mindful of their own experience, innate skills and abilities.
“During the training course I went on a journey, not only to learn about mediation but also about myself”
A key objective of the training is development in self-awareness and confidence at handling difficult and challenging conversations. Part of this is being more aware of the impact we can have on others, through our behaviour, and communication, helping participants to understand how we can be part of a positive response through the way we manage ourselves. It was brilliant to see people really engage with this and grow in confidence.
“It has given me the confidence and the process to feel I can implement it in the workplace”
The training takes place over 6 weeks – a combination of in person days, half day zoom sessions, pre-recorded webinars which people can watch in their own time and can come back to, as well as a full in depth manual.
“Thank you so much for being such a good trainer – you have the absolute perfect blend of information from methodology to empathy and I feel very fortunate to be on your course. Thank you and I promise I will work on the areas of development you’ve suggested together with the areas I find difficult.”
A key part of the training is to have opportunities for skills practice, gradually building skills and understanding, interspersing them with content. There are feedback opportunities via voice calls on WhatsApp, as well as written observations of practice and a final one-to-one trainer/trainee tutorial.
“I’m so glad the training is fantastic (if on zoom) and much more organised than the volunteering I’m trying to do elsewhere. Feel excited at the potential of it.”
Smile Mediation offers this training to recruit volunteers of a high calibre to work for the service, offering mediation and conflict coaching in communities and workplaces. They work hard to support their volunteers, providing networking and supervision opportunities, and refresher training events. We are delighted that a new cohort of mediators have now been trained.