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Mediation Theory and Practice

Mediation Theory and Practice

Third Edition
Additional resources:

June 2018 | 272 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Mediation Theory and Practice, Third Edition introduces students to the process of mediation by using practical examples that show students how to better manage conflicts and resolve disputes. Authors Suzanne McCorkle and Melanie J. Reese help students to understand the research and theory that underlie mediation, as well as provide students with the foundational skills a mediator must possess in any context, including issue identification, setting the agenda for negotiation, problem solving, settlement, and closure.

New to the Third Edition:

  • Expanded content on the role of evaluative mediation reflects the latest changes to the alternative dispute resolution field, helping students to distinguish between various approaches to mediation.
  • Additional discussions around careers in conflict management familiarize students with employment opportunities for mediators, standards of professional conduct, and professional mediator competencies.
  • New activities and case studies throughout each chapter assist students in developing their mediation competency.

Instructors, sign in at for a Microsoft Word test bank, sample course syllabi with term projects, chapter exercises and activities, and more!

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List of Cases, Views, and Role-Play Scenarios
About the Authors
Chapter 1: Introduction to Mediation
Why Mediation?
Benefits for the Disputants  
Benefits for the Mediator  
How Do People Find Their Way to Mediation?  
Family Mediation  
Community Mediation  
Victim–Offender Mediation  
School-Based Peer Mediation  
Organizational Mediation  
Government and Court-Annexed Mediation  
Power, Rights, and Interests  
Resolving through Power  
Resolving through Rights  
Resolving through Interests  
The Dispute Resolution Continuum  
Informal Conflict Management  
A Disclaimer about Mediation Training  
Chapter Resources  
Portfolio Assignment 1.1: Starting Your Mediator Portfolio  
Portfolio Assignment 1.2: Personal Reflections  
Chapter 2: The Basic Components of Mediation
Philosophical Assumptions  
Facilitative Approach  
Transformative Approach  
Evaluative Approach  
Comparing the Three Approaches  
Functional Models  
Integrating Philosophies  
Variables That Make a Difference in Mediation Models  
Premediation or No Premediation  
Allow Uninterrupted Disputant First Statements or Control When and How Long Each Person Speaks  
Allow, Require, or Forbid Private Meetings between the Mediator and the Parties  
Require an Agenda before Negotiating, Negotiate as You Go, or Slide Back and Forth between Issue Identification and Negotiation  
Consider the Parts of the Mediation as Functional Phases or as Chronological Steps  
Focus on the Problem, Focus on the Emotions, or Balance Problems and Emotions  
Prescribe Automatic First Moves within Phases or Allow Mediator Choice  
Allowing or Prohibiting Parties to Speak to Each Other  
Writing and Signing or Not Signing Agreements  
Phases in the Balanced Mediation Model  
Mediation Session  
Does Culture Matter in Mediation?  
Chapter Resources  
Portfolio Assignment 2.1: Personal Reflections on Mediation Philosophy  
Portfolio Assignment 2.2: Personal Reflections on Culture  
Chapter 3: Essential Skills for Mediators
An Overview of Mediator Skills  
Trusting and Controlling the Process  
Trusting the Process  
Controlling the Process  
Listening: A Bedrock Skill for Mediators  
Types of Listening  
Variables That Affect Listening  
Skills for Listening to Content, Emotion, and Relationship  
Reframing Messages  
Listening to Nonverbal Communication  
Clarifying and Asking Questions  
Open versus Closed Questions  
Genuinely Curious Questions  
Honoring Silence  
Listening Interculturally  
Ethical Issues and Listening  
Chapter Resources  
Portfolio Assignment 3.1: Emotional Paraphrases  
Portfolio Assignment 3.2: The Open-Ended Question  
Chapter 4: Premediation Activities
Contacting Disputants  
Goals to Accomplish During Intake  
Education Role  
Information-Gathering Role  
Assessment Role  
Setting the Stage  
Time and Timing  
Chapter Resources  
Portfolio Assignment 4.1: The Referral Sourcebook  
Portfolio Assignment 4.2: Intake and Agreement to Mediate Forms  
Chapter 5: Ethical Considerations and Tactical Preparations
Mediator Roles  
Ethical Considerations in the Mediation Community  
Ethical Considerations for Mediators  
Neutrality and Impartiality  
Reality Testing  
Dual-Role Relationships  
Informed Choice  
Conclusions about Mediator Ethics  
Disputant Roles  
Analyzing Stakeholders  
The Mediation Plan  
Common Causes of Conflict  
Conflict Causes and Mediator Moves  
Cultural Awareness  
Chapter Resources  
Portfolio Assignment 5.1: Ethical Codes of Conduct  
Portfolio Assignment 5.2: Mediator Supplies  
Portfolio Assignment 5.3: Personal Reflections That Deepen Cultural Awareness  
Chapter 6: The Mediator’s Opening Statement
Managing Arrivals and Seating  
Opening Statement Functions  
Opening Statement Styles  
Monologue Style  
Interactive Style  
Opening Statement Dynamics  
Key Components of the Opening Statement  
Building Credibility  
Establishing Stakeholders  
Explaining the Nature and Scope of Mediation  
Explaining the Mediator’s Role  
Explaining the Caucus  
Explaining Impartiality and Neutrality  
Giving a Confidentiality Statement  
Disclosing Notetaking Purposes  
Establishing Ground Rules  
Discuss Facilities  
Discovering Time Constraints  
Explaining the Role of Outside Experts  
Securing the Commitment to Begin  
Transitioning to Storytelling  
Building Credibility and Rapport  
The Relationship between Opening Statements and Mediator Control  
Notetaking for Mediators  
Chapter Resources  
Portfolio Assignment 6.1: Creating Your Personal Opening Statement  
Portfolio Assignment 6.2: Creating Your Personal Notetaking Form  
Chapter 7: Storytelling and Issue Identification
Theories of Storytelling  
Symbolic Interaction  
Attribution Theory  
Emotional Intelligence  
Functions of Storytelling  
The Individual  
The Mediator  
Mediator Strategies in Storytelling  
One Storyteller at a Time  
Co-Constructing Stories  
General Inquiry Questions  
Whole Picture Questions  
The Naïve Detective  
Specific Inquiry Questions  
Establishing Agreed-Upon “Facts”  
Weighing the Importance of Disagreements  
Perspective Taking  
Recognizing Turning Points  
Overcoming Common Pitfalls during Storytelling  
Pitfall 1: Unchecked Power Differences  
Pitfall 2: Allowing Blaming and Attacking  
Pitfall 3: Acting on Overstatements or Generalizations  
Pitfall 4: Taking Sides  
Pitfall 5: Permitting Interrupting and Bickering  
Pitfall 6: Mismanaging Emotional Outbursts  
Pitfall 7: Letting One Party Monopolize Time or Control the Process  
Pitfall 8: Being Overwhelmed with Evidence  
Conflict Causes and Mediator Moves  
Chapter Resources  
Portfolio Assignment 7.1: The Vision Quest  
Portfolio Assignment 7.2: Reframes  
Portfolio Assignment 7.3: Personal Reflection  
Chapter 8: Setting the Agenda for Negotiation
Mediator’s Notes Are the Building Blocks of the Agenda  
When to Shift to the Agenda Step  
Components of the Agenda  
The Commonality Statement  
The Agenda List  
Sequencing the Agenda List  
Who Decides the Order of the Agenda?  
Considerations When Choosing the Agenda Sequence  
Adding an Issue for Continuing Relationships  
Alternate Methods of Creating the Agenda  
Framing the Agenda Neutrally and Mutually  
Chapter Resources  
Portfolio Assignment 8.1: Methods of Ordering the Agenda  
Portfolio Assignment 8.2: Transitioning to the Agenda  
Chapter 9: Problem Solving and Negotiation
The Two Worlds of Negotiation  
Directiveness vs. Intrusiveness  
Mediator Techniques to Foster Disputant Problem Solving  
Starting the Negotiation  
Techniques for Cooperative Negotiation  
Techniques for Traditional Negotiation  
Using the Caucus to Respond to Common Problems  
Not Bargaining in Good Faith  
Hidden Agendas  
Reality Check  
Lying or Withholding Information  
Breaking Deadlocks  
Analyze the Impasse  
Techniques to Break through Impasse  
Ending the Negotiation Phase  
Mediator Ethics and the Negotiation Phase  
Chapter Resources  
Portfolio Assignment 9.1: Questions to Start Negotiation  
Portfolio Assignment 9.2: Going into Caucus  
Portfolio Assignment 9.3: Personal Reflections on Face  
Chapter 10: Settlement and Closure
Why Write Agreements?  
Is the Agreement Legally Binding or Legally Nonbinding?  
A Format for Writing Mediation Agreements  
Choosing the Phrasing of the Agreement  
Agreements Use Direct Language  
Agreements Are Clear  
Agreements Generally Are Positive  
Agreements Are Impartial  
Agreements Are Concrete  
Agreements Arise from the Parties’ Words  
Creating Durable Agreements  
Contingency Agreements  
Future Communication Clauses  
Reality Testing  
Partial Agreements  
Final Reading and Signing  
Closing a Nonagreement Mediation  
Debriefing the Session  
Chapter Resources  
Portfolio Assignment 10.1: Memorandum of Agreement Form  
Chapter 11: The World of the Mediator
Variations on Basic Mediation  
Extended Premediation  
Mediation and the Internet  
Mediation as a Profession  
Employment Opportunities for Mediators  
Cross-Training and Life Skills  
Standards of Professional Conduct  
Professional Mediator Competencies  
Mediation Skills in Everyday Life  
Chapter Resources  
Portfolio Assignment 11.1: My Current Skill Level  
Appendix A: Practice Cases
Appendix B: Mediator Skills Checklist


Instructor Site

Password-protected Instructor Resources include the following:

    • A Microsoft® Word test bank, is available containing multiple choice, true/false, and essay questions for each chapter. The test bank provides you with a diverse range of pre-written options as well as the opportunity for editing any question and/or inserting your own personalized questions to assess students’ progress and understanding.
    • Editable, chapter-specific Microsoft® PowerPoint® slides offer you complete flexibility in easily creating a multimedia presentation for your course.
    • Sample course syllabi with term projects for semester and quarter courses provide suggested models for use when creating the syllabi for your courses.
    • Lively and stimulating chapter exercises and activities that can be used in class to reinforce active learning. The activities apply to individual or group projects.
    • Chapter-specific discussion questions help launch classroom interaction by prompting students to engage with the material and by reinforcing important content.
    • A set of all the graphics from the text, including all of the maps, tables, and figures, in PowerPoint, .pdf, and .jpg formats for class presentations.
    • Additional Cases that can be used for extra practice outside of the classroom in order to support the skills and techniques taught in class
      Sample Mediation Forms assist with the set up of the mediation and help guide the mediator through the process of mediation

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ISBN: 9781506363547