Mediation training comes in a multitude of flavors. To make sure you get really good training and an excellent return on your training investment, here’s a guide to help you choose the right flavor for you. Questions to ask yourself Start with your own clarity. Your answers to the following questions help you steer yourself […]
Mediation business and marketing
I used to write a fair amount about the mediation business, ADR marketing, and starting a mediation career. Here's a selection about starting and running a mediation business and marketing mediation in ways you can feel proud of and build genuine connection with your market. Want more? Try my award-winning mediation marketing book, Making Mediation Your Day Job.
What is the future of mediation? That’s the very question I was invited to answer by Mediate.com’s Mediation Futures Project. The project is inviting leading thinkers in the field to share their ideas and hopes about the future of the mediation field and of mediation practice. So I contributed The Future of Mediation: Mediators As […]
We mediators are a confidential bunch, good at holding private what’s been told in trust. But there’s one secret mediators should never keep, because the telling of it, the acknowledging of it, holds the promise of reaching greater heights in your work. When I’m teaching a mediation class to conflict resolution grad students, I’m fond […]
I remember the first time I succeeded in a mediation. I was a newbie mediator, just barely out of my studies and on my own. A university dean I knew from my own days as a college dean hired me to mediate a nagging workplace conflict involving eight women in the same office. There had been fireworks.
The New England Association for Conflict Resolution has asked me to lead a conversation with attendees at the April annual dinner. We’ll be discussing the relevance of professional and volunteer conflict resolvers in people’s lives and how we do (and don’t) address that relevance in the ways we talk about our work, our services, our […]
Consider this mediation story reported by the Associated Press about a decade ago: Northampton, Mass. – The city’s attempt at mediating complaints by merchants about ice cream loving motorcyclists gathering outside a Main Street shop had mixed results. About 40 bikers and 10 merchants, including the owner’s of Bart’s Homemade, sat in a circle and […]
Imagine this: Michael loves pie, particularly apple pie. He loves it so much he decides to take a course in apple pie making. He locates a master baker and teacher and she teaches him how to make a truly fabulous apple pie. She’s precise in what she teaches: He needs specific ingredients and he needs […]
What’s the single most effective tool a mediator can use to market? An audience member asked me this when I keynoted the annual conference of the New Jersey Association of Professional Mediators back in November. The good news in my answer is that seasoned and well-trained mediators already have this tool and know how to […]
Your biggest mediation competition isn’t who you think it is. It’s not the mediator down the street who’s been in business for a decade and whose name is synonymous with mediation in your region. It isn’t the legal firm one building over. It isn’t the newly minted mediator across town who’s known well from a […]
I am about to split hairs. But it’s for a good cause. I’m going to split hairs because I want to create a quick reference guide to which I can point people who contact me about (1) hiring me as their mediator, (2) hiring a mediator in general, and (3) becoming a mediator. Since public […]
Where will mediation be in 10 years time? Will it be a field, a movement, an occupation, a hobby? Will the marketplace perceive it as a truly independent profession? IMI, the International Mediation Institute, is gathering answers to these questions from mediators worldwide. Emma Ewart of IMI contacted me with the questions and I decided […]
This episode of the CafeMediate podcast discusses persistent myths in the mediation world. We focused our attention on three questions: 1. What persistent myths most vex us and why? 2. What do those myths, individually or collectively, do to public understanding of our work? 3. What should mediators and other ADR professionals do when they […]
A few months ago, Texas conflict coach Pattie Porter, whom I knew only via Twitter at the time, approached me about being on her BlogTalkRadio show, The Texas Conflict Coach. Ever since, I’ve been listening to Pattie’s show and have been impressed by both her practice-building strategy and the professionalism with which she carries it […]
My publisher sent a lovely email to tell me my book, Making Mediation Your Day Job, is a finalist for Book of the Year in ForeWord Review’s annual awards. It was selected from 1,400 entries. My smile at the news grew wider when my sister pointed out that there was a typo (now corrected) that […]
A few years ago, I and my Woodbury College faculty colleagues Susanne Terry and Alice Estey published an article on mediator training and preparation in ACResolution. Last week’s Cafe Mediate podcast got me thinking about that article again – it’s content is still valid and the topic still timely. So, with my colleagues’ agreement, I’m […]
Agile creativity is the sweet spot at the intersection of planning and improvising. I propose that’s the intersection from which skilled mediators work much of the time. David Armano, whose influential marketing blog, Logic+Emotion, is a source of inspiration about creativity, design and user experience, says this about agile creativity: Agile Creativity is about planning […]
Last week we had one of our on-campus residencies for the newest cohort of grad students in the Mediation and Applied Conflict Studies program. I always look forward to the residencies because, for me, nothing substitutes for working in-person with my students. I was wrapping up teaching Interpersonal Conflict with this group; it’s a course […]
What will it take for ADR to reach a real tipping point? This may be the single most important question for practitioners who want to build their ADR practices and market themselves successfully. There are five critical characteristics that, while not requirements for an innovation to meet success, can greatly affect the rate at which […]
What do you do with over $2,500 in services and products that could help any mediator jump-start their ADR business? Why, throw a party and give them away, of course! It’s all part of the Book Launch Virtual Party I’m throwing to celebrate the release of my book, Making Mediation Your Day Job. Yesterday, I […]
I’m so excited to announce that my new book, Making Mediation Your Day Job: How to Market Your ADR Business Using Mediation Principles You Already Know, has hit the online store shelves! Let’s cut straight to the chase for those of who’ve been waiting for this announcement: Buy the book! Now be sure to read […]
I’m excited to announce that my new book, Making Mediation Your Day Job: How to Market Your ADR Business Using Mediation Principles You Already Know, will be in print soon! For the past month a good chunk of my spare time has gone to reviewing cover copy, the galleys, and communicating with my publisher. There’s […]
If you’ve spent any time at all looking for good mediator resources on the web, then you know John Ford, at least indirectly. Since 2000, John’s been the managing editor for Mediate.com, which has over 4 million visitors annually and over 3,000 articles and resources. That’s a whole lot of wisdom in one place and […]
Fellow mediators often ask me how I make strategic decisions about the future and direction of my private practice. One way I help myself be strategic about my mediation business is to take myself on a solo business retreat every year. I call them my Renewal Retreats.
Here’s a little something I wrote that’s up on Mediate.com: Let’s Change Our Limiting Self-Labeling Practices. When you’re marketing, be sure you avoid defining yourself by what you’re not. Or marginalizing others that way.
Dear Geoff, This is my promised second letter in response to your kind invitation. Bet you didn’t expect your simple question to lead to such a long answer! I’ll just blame it on being a wee bit revved by the cold medicine… In my first note to you, I closed with saying there was one […]
In How I Started My Mediation Practice, Part 1, I promised I’d discuss what ADR practice startup decisions I’d repeat and what mistakes I’d try to avoid if I had a do-over. I guess it’s disclosure time! I made some decisions I’d repeat… Choosing a narrow target market: By selecting a narrow target market in […]
I dove off the cliff. I began the process of building my mediation process and being a first-time business owner the day I submitted my resignation to the president of the college at which I served as a vice president and dean. That was almost 11 years ago and I still remember breaking out into […]
If you’re a reader of the Family Mediation Quarterly or a member of the Massachusetts Council on Family Mediation, then I invite you to check out my article in the new edition, “Tap Your Inner Geek: Online Marketing for Mediators.” It’s a concise overview of some of the principles I’ve developed to help mediators transform […]
It was the first day of the new term and of my advanced-level course, Trends and Issues in the Field. I asked my graduate mediation students to work in small groups and answer this challenge:
Imagine that you have decided to create a private ADR practice. On what marketplace trends would you capitalize? Where would you primarily focus to bring in clients?
The small groups took their markers and flipcharts and disappeared for half an hour. As I paused periodically at the doors of the breakout rooms in which they worked, I could see earnest and diligent conversation unfolding, words appearing on paper. This was a smart group of adult students who came back to school after successful careers in other arenas.
The small groups returned and hung their lists on walls around the room. I skimmed through the posters. Surprise made my do so again. And I had one of those moments of disquieting clarity… [Click title to read full post]