Online Mediation Knows No Boundaries
In this brave new world, I’ve now done quite a number of online mediations, both with clients where we had had face to face meetings in the good old days when we could all actually meet other people and with couples where I have only met them online.
Like a lot of other mediators to whom I’ve spoken, I find that there are distinct advantages. Yes, the body language signals are limited. It’s still there as people shuffle about at certain points, move away from the screen & break eye contact. What you do have is the opportunity to see facial expressions and eye movements close up. They tell a lot.
Session management is easier. Mediation clients seem to find it easier to respect the talking one at a time rule when on screen in a way they don’t when in the same room.
What’s interesting is that the balance shifts in a different way. Those clients who struggle sometimes to voice their thoughts despite all prompts from the mediator clearly find it much easier to do so when on screen. I think it’s because although you are all together there is a distance. Add to that that people are in the own space.
More on all this no doubt later. It’s that space idea that excites me as a mediator.
The reality is that online mediation offers the opportunity to me to work with couples from all over the country. No longer do clients in London for example need to eat into time and money to come to my mediation room. I can work with clients wherever they or I may be provided there’s a WIFi connection.
Park for the moment doing my mediation from a camper van wherever the will takes us when we can all travel again.
What it means is that I can offer my experience as a mediator for decades and all my considerable legal knowledge to clients wherever they are.
Online mediation truly knows no boundaries. In the locked down world in which we are all living, that’s a wonderful thought.