Posted on: February 6th, 2023
As a leading training provider in the field of mediation, communication, and conflict resolution skills, we are often asked to adapt our suite of programmes to suit varying levels of needs, complexity, and availability. No more was this in evidence than during the COVID-19 lockdown, when we were staring into webcams instead of enjoying travelling the globe to various training venues.
Our training is all to do with interpersonal skills: avoiding and heading off conflict, resolving complaints and disputes, and mediating in all sorts of settings. Our view is that training people to interact better, in an environment where we pay close attention to the psychology of conflict and obstacles to resolution, is ideally done face-to-face. Even during the height of lockdown, we managed to adapt our Accredited Mediator programme so that 50% was still delivered live, while the other 50% was delivered online over Zoom. Learner feedback indicated that this was the correct approach, and we were able to re-configure our course so that we could make the most of the precious live time. Some of this comes down to a lot of our method being experiential: more learning-by-doing and less chalk-and-talk!
With the current economic climate, and with organisations starting to tighten their belts, we have been taking lots of enquiries from people wanting us to condense training into as short a time as possible. It is very reminiscent of the 2008-2009 crisis, when training budgets were squeezed and people really wanted to get more for less. Again, we prefer to say ‘yes’ to requests to shorten courses, or to spread a course over a few days or weeks to lessen disruption to people’s normal schedules. Having said that, there is a consideration for us as professional training providers to see that the quality of the training is maintained.
We are doing much more than just imparting knowledge. Training to interact better, and to work well with conflict, takes a certain amount of undoing what you already know. We are innovative and we like to challenge norms around adversarial, purely problem-solving approaches to conflict resolution. This takes a significant commitment of time, a preparedness to be challenged, and a considerable amount of motivation to have your mind changed. What this means in practical terms is that while we would love to be able to spread a 40-hour training course out over four weekends and eight evenings, it really is NOT going to happen. To build our learners’ competence AND confidence in working with some pretty tricky material requires immersion and dedication, all of which requires in turn plenty of that precious commodity: time!
Rest assured that UK Mediation is here to work as widely and effectively as we can to ensure that our esteemed clients and learners get the most from the market-leading training and mediation services that we have been providing for over 23 years. We can help you identify, avoid, and resolve conflict in ways you may never have come across, helping you to become confident and competent dispute resolvers and resolution facilitators. Just give us the time.