February 09, 2021 Feature

The Craft of Mediation: The Infusion of Multidisciplinary Approaches, Appreciative Inquiry, and Cultural Diversity

Alexia Georgakopoulos and Eileen Petzold-Bradley
Mediation is a craft that requires continuous creativity, cultivation, and intentionality on the part of mediators.

Mediation is a craft that requires continuous creativity, cultivation, and intentionality on the part of mediators.

Feodora Chiosea/iStock via Getty Images Plus

Mediation is a craft that requires continuous creativity, cultivation, and intentionality on the part of mediators. This article may challenge the way people think about mediation that is mandated by courts because its associated mediation training often narrowly and predominantly centers on requirements of mediation such as sequences of problem-solving, principles of negotiation, legitimate rules/ethics, legal education, and court processes associated with mediation. Significantly less attention in mediation training/education centers on what authentically makes mediation compelling and a true craft that is organic, effective, fluid, humanistic, cooperative, transformative, party-centered, and impactful. Combine this with the reality that contemporary issues in mediation often involve diversity elements, yet these issues are often overlooked or ignored within mediation. To preface this piece, author Alexia Georgakopoulos challenges mediation training that is not centered on mediation as a craft. Next, she encourages embracing change in mediation as a vital aspect of the health of a new system informed by a multidisciplinary focus. Following this discussion, she introduces “appreciative inquiry” as a new model of mediation that harnesses the craft of mediation. Author Eileen Petzold-Bradley concludes by discussing the significance of understanding diversity within the mediation context.

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