Mediation is an ever-evolving field, making the journey for mediators a never-ending learning process. To ensure a vibrant future for mediation, practicing mediators with advanced knowledge, skills, and experience support the next generations of mediators through the IMI-YMI Mentorship Framework. IMI-YMI have been supporting new mediators for more than ten years, and this framework focuses on empowerment through gaining mediation experience and expertise.
Mentoring can occur in many forms and is not bound by national borders. There are many newly trained mediators in parts of the world where mediation is not yet used sufficiently to enable them to gain experience. Experienced mediators can then make a huge difference and help develop mediation in those countries through connecting with a mentee online. With technologies such as video conferencing, bridging countries and cultures, mentorships can have a cross-cultural dimension, valuable to the experienced mediator mentor as well as their mentee.
I spoke to three mediators currently benefitting from the IMI-YMI Mentorship Framework: Alexa Jeremy from the Netherlands, Joel Evans from the UK, and Susan Andrews from the USA, who each began their mentoring experience in the past six months.
Who are you?
Alexa: I am accredited with the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution in both workplace and employment mediation, and have spent much of my working life in a variety of different workplace environments, so I’d really like to help resolve work-place conflict. I have also now completed community mediation training, so am looking forward to helping with disputes between neighbours too.
Joel: I am a China specialist and am particularly interested in resolving disputes between Chinese and Western parties.
Susan: I facilitate the online and remote resolution of disputes, conflicts and matters not being litigated or being litigated which fall under the General Civil mediation category with a focus on business and commercial disputes.
What motivates you in your mediation career?
Alexa: What motivates me is the opportunity that mediation offers to create connections with and between people, to help them communicate more effectively, and ultimately create a space for greater peace between them.
Joel: I would like to help resolve international disputes involving parties from different cultures. I became interested in pursuing a mediation career ever since I attended my first commercial mediation, seeing the success of mediation in practice is a continuous motivator for me.
Susan: My motivation as a mediator engaged in Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) is to facilitate the efficient, effective and ethical resolution of disputes through the parties’ enhanced control, convenience and creativity enabled by this dispute resolution process.
Why did you decide to seek mentorship?
Alexa: I sought mentorship because the transition from the world of mediation theory to mediation practice is a notoriously challenging one. I felt that mentoring could offer a wonderful opportunity to learn from and share ideas with someone with lots more experience than me in the world of mediation, which is something that could (and very much does!) help make that transition easier.
Joel: I decided to seek mentorship because I am keen to learn from an experienced mediator who can help me develop my skills.
Susan: I decided to seek mentorship via the IMI-YMI Framework to gain exposure to and experience in international and/or cross-border business and commercial mediation, especially in particular practice areas, industries and sectors.
Is there anything else you would like to share?
Alexa: I read an article by mediator David Hoffman recently, and he quoted Mahatma Gandhi (‘we must be the change that we want to see in the world’) then added some wise words of his own which really resonated with me: “being a peacemaker in the world requires us to be a peacemaker in our internal world. And, the quest for greater self understanding and self acceptance achieves its lasting impact when we can use those tools in our work as dispute resolvers, to make the world a better place”.
Susan: What I appreciate about the IMI-YMI Mentorship Framework is its extension of the already impressive IMI framework into a flexible experiential environment enabling the mentee to partner with their mentor in a Mentorship Plan based on the mentee’s profile that details the mentee’s goals, skills and specific interests.
We would like to thank the mentors who volunteered to step forward supporting Alexa, Susan, and Joel in their mediation career: Aloysius Goh, Dr. Al Jarratt, Delcy Lagones de Anglim and Barney Jordaan.
If you are ready to take your mediation career a step forward, then join the IMI-YMI mentoring framework today by first becoming a member of the Young Mediators’ Initiative. Interested in stepping forward as a Mentor? Reach out to me at: [email protected].