Training Option 3
2 Day – In-person training
Maximum 12 participants
This is a 2-day In-Person training that can be delivered internationally, as well as in Ireland. This advanced mediation training includes all seven modules, with film based mediation demonstrations.
Public Course – Per person
Occasionally it may be delivered as a public course and individuals can apply to participate.
Date, time and location TBC
Organisations can book this training for their in-house mediators.
Date, time and location TBC
The ‘S’ Questions Model
This advanced training covers the S4: Shift Thinking Questions from the ‘S’ Questions Model as developed in the book: The Mediator’s Toolkit: Formulating and Asking Questions for Successful Outcomes.
Upskilling for mediators in Workplace Mediation, Civil & Commercial Mediation, Community Mediation, Family Mediation and all sectors of mediation.
If you want to learn from somebody who knows their job and loves it, this is the course for you. Gerry’s honesty and enthusiasm is infectious. Brilliant facilitation and invaluable knowledge.
Ken Quinn, Wexford.
FREE Introductory Module 1
Module 1a: The Context for Creating a Paradigm Shift
This module shows the goals that need to be achieved when asking questions in mediation. You will learn how the distortion, deletion and deficit of communicated information can hinder or block conflict solution and the physiological changes that occur when parties are in conflict.
Module 1b: Use of The ‘S’ Questions Model and its Application
This module gives an overview of the framework of the ‘S’ Questions Model and the four dimensions of really good questions within that model. It also introduces the ‘Film Case Scenario’ that will be used as the context for all the filmed role plays in the other modules and the ‘Practice Case Scenario’ that will be used in exercises during in-class learning for those who book the In-Person training.
Module 1a The Context for Creating a Paradigm Shift
The images above are of role-played mediation and it is not a real case.
Module 1b The Use of The 'S' Questions Model
Shift Thinking: Journey of Inference Questions
The mediation film contained in this module sets the context for the dispute, giving the interpretations and assumptions that parties made about the conflict situation and how this led to their misunderstanding of each other and to the positional stance that they take. These searching Journey of Inference mediation questions make an unconscious thinking process conscious, and they introduce new insight to the parties that creates understanding between them. They shift a party’s perspective from their old and positional narrative towards a more collaborative narrative. This mediation questions technique will radically improve a mediator’s skills and competency level. (Demonstration mediation film is done with both parties in the room during a plenary joint meeting.)
Note: These Journey of Inference mediation questions are a derivation from The Ladder of Inference developed by Chris Argyris
Shift Thinking: Other People Questions
The first mediation film in this module demonstrates how to ask paradigm shifting mediation questions to challenge Mediation Party Kathy’s Journey of Inference (interpretations, assumptions and conclusions) by using Other People Questions which demonstrate how this can be done in a safe way. The second film demonstrates how to formulate and ask Other People Questions with both parties in the room together during a later stage of mediation.
The two mediation videos in this module demonstrate how to ask challenging mediation questions in a gentle way. They cover separate meetings with one of the parties, Kathy, during which a change in her thinking starts to evolve as a result of the mediation questions posed. As a result, Kathy starts to become less stuck in her narrative and gains more clarity as to what she needs to say to the other party during their conversation at their joint session.
Module 4a: Shift Thinking: Neurolinguistic Programming based Questions
These mediation questions asked of a party during an initial caucus session bring clarity and explore subjective realities, reconnecting a party’s language, along with its deletions, distortions and generalisations, with their actual experience. They separate a party’s ‘fears’ from the ‘facts’ and support a party to shift from being strongly defensive of their position to considering other possibilities and interpretations. These questions lead to a change in a party’s subjective reality and thinking. (Demonstration mediation film is done asking mediation questions at a separate private meeting)
Module 4b: Distinctions and Differences Questions
These mediation questions also bring clarity and explore subjective realities. Specifically, they enable a party to see the conflict from a broader perspective. These help a mediator to bring clarity, relevance and boundary to the mediation process. They bring measurement regarding something that requires more clarity such as the extent of the effect of the dispute on parties; the level of understanding between them; the progress made during the mediation process; and whether a particular solution will meet their needs. These questions lead to an adjustment of a party’s thinking and a change to their approach to the dispute. (Demonstration mediation film film is done asking mediation questions of one party at a separate caucus meeting)
Shift Thinking: Cognitive Elements Based Questions
This video of a mediation case is during a private meeting with Mediation Party Tom and it shows how to identify the conflicting thoughts that brought him into a state of inner turmoil or cognitive dissonance. Using this knowledge, the mediator demonstrates, through theoretical input and a filmed mediation done through role-play, how to use simple challenging mediation questions so that a party can lessen their inner conflict. This enables a party to return to clear and logical thinking where they will be able to identify resolutions for settlement of the dispute. By returning to this state of cognitive consonance, a party can start to think logically and make clear decisions. These powerful mediation questions gently challenge a mediation party who is strongly defending their mediation position or who appears to be defending their position even though they have inner reservations about what they have done. They support a party to explore their dissonance so that they can get to the root of their inner conflict, and make decisions about what they need to address in the joint session. (Demonstration videoed mediations are done with one party at an initial private mediation meeting.)
Shift Thinking: Underlying Interests Questions
The two mediation videos in this module show how to ask exploratory mediation questions that will shift parties in conflict from positional to underlying interest level. These powerful underlying interests questions go beneath a party’s position and get to the core of their conflict. They are particularly valuable questions when parties are entrenched and the mediation reaches impasse. It may only be necessary to ask these questions of one party privately, if only one party is blocking solutions.
If you are wondering what mediation questions to ask when there is a high degree of emotion in the room leading to a fight-fight-freeze situation, then there is firstly a need to identify the area in which a party may have been impacted, and only then ask questions about that area of impact. This training will list and describe the elements that need to be explored so that any mediation agreement meets the underlying interests of both parties. One of the many ways to do this is by asking mediation questions based on Dr. David Rock’s SCARF Model and these, as well as asking questions about other important areas of impact, both conscious and unconscious, are also demonstrated on the mediation film in this module. Mediation tips, techniques and guidelines are also covered during the theoretical inputs before and after the role-played film.
When underlying interests are reached and explored, parties then become less emotional and are able to think cognitively and make decisions .Identifying conscious or unconscious underlying interests provides a platform from which appropriate agreements that meet a party’s underlying interests are reached, rather than from their positional demands which are often only quick solutions that may not be sustainable. (Demonstration film is done with both parties in the room at a plenary joint mediation session.)
There are two films in this module, the first is with Kathy at an initial separate meeting where she is despairing that Tom will never stop apologising and harassing her. The second film covers both parties in the session together.
Module 7a: Future Focus Questions
Future Focused questions can change the state of a person so that they begin to think logically rather than emotionally. This allows them to safely think through the kind of agreements that could meet their underlying interests and needs. These questions paint a possible hypothetical, conditional or consequential picture on which parties can reflect and make decisions, from outside their current paradigm. These questions move a party off the conflict treadmill and lessen the chance of a party having an amygdala hijack and thinking from an emotional perspective. They also assist a mediator to remain neutral and impartial, while facilitating the mediation principle of self-determination. (Demonstration films are done with one party on their own as well as with both parties in the room)
Module 7b: Shift Thinking: Reflective Connecting Questions
Reflective Connecting questions facilitate a party or parties to see the cycle of conflict that developed between them and how each of their actions may have led to a reaction from the other. They enable parties to make connections and links between various facets of a conflict, thus broadening and expanding their thinking. These questions increase understanding and facilitate the parties to agree actions should an incident like this arise in the future.(Demonstration film is done with both parties in the room)
An essential next step for anyone who has done the theory of mediation and anyone who wants to up-skill.
Muriel Walls, Walls & Toomey Solicitors, Dublin
“Excellent course, Gerry’s warmth and enthusiasm was infectious.”
Declan McBrearty Irish Prison Service