Online – Live Zoom
Live online Questions & Answers
Q & A Zoom Session
Places limited to 12 participants.
Based on the ‘S’ Questions Model as developed in the book: ‘The Mediator’s Toolkit: Formulating and Asking Questions for Successful Outcomes’.
On the second Monday of every month, from September to May, Gerry offers a two-hour online Zoom Questions & Answers session from 16.00 – 18.00 GMT.
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.
Participants are welcome to join for the full two hours but the focus of the agenda will break down as follows.
16.00 – 17.00
The first hour will focus on comments and questions from those who attended the In-Person training or Zoom live training or who purchased access to the video self-study series of modules.
17.00 to 18.00
The second hour will focus on those who read ‘The Mediator’s Toolkit: Formulating and Asking Questions for Successful Outcomes’, but did not attend any accompanying training course.
The Mediation Questions Training was excellent. Gerry expertly connects the psychological and theoretical elements to asking questions in mediation. I found the content and delivery to be exceptional and I can honestly say that I have learned more from this incredible training than any other course I have completed. I attended the live four half-days online training and I have purchased access to some of the videos so that I can watch them again for increased learning.
Sharon McGarr, BA (Hons) Psychology, MA Mediation and Conflict Intervention. Fieldwork Coordinator on the PRIMERA Project.
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 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 post learning.
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 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 took. These Journey of Inference questions make an unconscious thinking process conscious and introduce new insight to the parties that creates understanding between them. They shift a party’s perspective from their old narrative towards a new and more healthy narrative. (Demonstration film is done with both parties in the room)
Shift Thinking: Other People Questions
The first film in this module illustrates how to challenge Kathy’s Journey of Inference (interpretations, assumptions and conclusions) by using Other People Questions and demonstrates how this can be done in a safe way. The second film uses Other People Questions with both parties in the room together at a later phase of the mediation. These questions broaden the perspectives of parties and make it easier for them to respond to questions which might otherwise invoke a feeling of threat. They facilitate a party to think cognitively, rather than from an ‘avoid-threat reflex’ state and they create understanding and illustrate empathy between parties.(Demonstration films are done with one party and both parties in the room)
The two films in this module cover separate meetings with one of the characters, Kathy, during which a paradigm shift starts to take place as a result of the questions she is asked. As a result, Kathy starts to become more congruent in her communication and will be better prepared for the joint meeting.
Module 4a: Shift Thinking: Neuro-Linguistic Programming based Questions
These questions 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 move from a place of intransigence. These questions lead to an adjustment of a party’s subjective reality and a paradigm shift in their thinking and approach. (Demonstration film is done with one party at a separate meeting)
Module 4b: Distinctions and Differences Questions
These questions also bring clarity and explore subjective realities. Specifically. they enable a party to step back from the conflict and view it with an alternative perspective. The questions bring clarity, relevance and boundary to a conflict. They bring measurement regarding something that requires more precise information such as the extent of an impact on parties; the level of understanding reached; the progress made during the mediation process; the appropriateness of solutions etc. These questions lead to an adjustment of a party’s subjective reality and a paradigm shift in their thinking and approach. (Demonstration film is done with one party at a separate meeting)
Shift Thinking: Cognitive Elements Based Questions
This film demonstrates a private meeting with Tom and it shows how to identify clashing cognitive elements resulting in cognitive dissonance within him. The mediator demonstrates how to use this knowledge as a means for a party to identify future actions in order to return to a state of cognitive consonance. By returning to this state, a party can start to think logically and make rational decisions. These questions gently and safely challenge a party that is strongly defending their position or who appears to be in ‘denial’. They facilitate a party to explore their dissonance so that they can get to the root of their inner conflict, and make decisions about how they need to address their conflict in the joint session. (Demonstration films are done with one party at a separate meeting)
Shift Thinking: Underlying Interests Questions
The two films in this module show how asking questions that go below the surface of a party’s position can lead to the core of their conflict and lead to their underlying interests and needs. Once this is done, parties become less emotional and are able to think cognitively and make decisions. Identifying these conscious or unconscious underlying interests provides a platform from which appropriate and sustainable agreements that meet a party’s underlying interests, rather than their positional demands, can be reached. (Demonstration film is done with both parties in the room)
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. (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)
The ‘S’ Questions Model is a terrific resource and purchasing the video series offers a unique level of flexibility and accessibility for learning. The video resource individually addresses key components of the process, provides magnificent insight and awareness into goals that need to be achieved when asking questions.
Joanne Barry, JB Mediation, Family Mediator (Roundtable) , Certified Mediator (MII), Psychotherapist (BACP).
TBC, Walls & Toomey Solicitors, Dublin