Skip to content

Your access to mediation questions training resources

Processing & Communicating Information

Read: ‘The Mediator’s Toolkit: Formulating and Asking Questions for Successful Outcomes’, Chapter 2

Read: Companion Manual to accompany film

Watch Video: ‘Creating the Context for a Paradigm Shift’ to accompany this Chapter 2  (26 mins)


This module shows the goals that need to be achieved when asking effective mediation questions. 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 1a lays the context for knowing the importance of asking penetrating questions that will increase the amount and type of information available to parties to shift their thinking and achieve successful and sustainable agreements.

“We argue about who we are.”


Watch Video

Module 1a The Context for Creating a Paradigm Shift

Overview of the ‘S’ Questions Model

Read: ‘The Mediator’s Toolkit: Formulating and Asking Questions for Successful Outcomes’ – Chapters 1 and part of Chapter 5.

Read: Companion Manual to accompany film

Watch Video: ‘Use of the ‘S’ Questions Model’(10 mins)

This online mediation training module gives an overview of the framework of the ‘S’ Questions Model and its four dimensions.

Video Mediation Training Online: Four components of the ‘S’ Questions Model  from: The Mediator's Toolkit...                     

9 mins   To enlarge screen: click on YouTube word   

Journey of Inference Questions

Read: ‘The Mediator’s Toolkit: Formulating and Asking Questions for Successful Outcomes’ – Chapter 10

Read: Companion Manual for Module 2 including the case scenario for the filmed roleplay

Watch Video: Journey of Inference Questions (58 mins)
Please note: There is a glitch in the video between 14:04 – 15:50 mins

This mediation film 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 mediation positional stance that they take. These strategic, but 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 narrative towards a new and more healthy narrative. This powerful mediation questions technique will dynamically improve a mediator’s skills and competency level leading to improved mediation practice.

  • Demonstration mediation film is done at a plenary meeting with both parties in the room and it is advised to check out a party’s Journey of Inference at a separate meeting first.
  • The role play is unscripted and the role players are not actors, but mediators accredited by the Mediators’ Institute of Ireland. They ask that you will not tease them about the roles they played should you ever meet each other.

These Journey of Inference mediation sample questions are a derivation from The Ladder of Inference developed by Chris Argyris 

Video: 'Will Work For Food' (WWF) interview by Natalie Armstrong-Motin +  Journey of Inference questions video

58 mins  To enlarge screen: click YouTube word    There is a glitch from 14.04 mins to 15.50 mins