- Paperback: 176 pages
- Publisher: New Society Publishers; 3rd, Revised & enlarged edition (July 1, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0865713596
- ISBN-13: 978-0865713598
- Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.4 x 11 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 19 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #955,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Mediator's Handbook Paperback – July 1, 1998
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Mediation is a respected and effective alternative to courtroom litigation. Completely revised and expanded from previous editions, The Mediator's Handbook is an invaluable resource for people working in corporations, government agencies, community organizations, schools, or any other situation where there is a need to build bridges between diverse perspectives. The Mediator's Handbook is a "how-to" guide walking the reader through the steps to an effective mediation. The Mediator's Handbook can assist in conflict resolution for anyone working in corporations, government agencies, community organizations, schools, or neighbor-hoods where there is a need to build bridges and compromises between diverse perspectives and conflicting interests. Highly recommended. -- Midwest Book Review
About the Author
Jennifer E Beer is the author of the original Mediator's Handbook and helped develop Friends Conflict Resolution Programs' well-known mediation training course. She is the founder of JB Intercultural Consulting. Eileen Stief created FCRP's mediation program and training course 20 years ago. She is now a partner in PennACCORD Associates, a firm specialising in dispute resolution and conflict management. She is co-author of FCRP's School Mediation Trainer's Manual. Friends Conflict Resolution Programs is a program of the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and is one of the longest-running mediation programs in the United States.
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Some of the strong many strengths of The Mediator's Handbook:
* The facilitative approach makes it appropriate for court mediators, community, youth/peer and as an intro to those who will do family cases. It presents a good balance of party communication and tools to help parties reach lasting agreements.
* The 7 step phases of the process are clearly explained.
* The specific questions to ask at various points in the process are excellent (p.106)
* The last section has mediator evaluations, confidentiality forms, form letters to send to interested parties and other useful tools to use in your practice.
I highly recommend this as a basic intro book - its easy to read, complete yet not overly wordy or theoretical.
As an [ahem] older law student, I recently signed up to participate in a mediation program through a local courthouse. As I looked around for helpful references, my eye fell naturally on this modern classic by Jennifer Beer. Continuously in print since 1982 and now in its third edition, it's probably _the_ book that did most to teach the American public how to "do" mediation.
It's full of nuts-and-bolts advice on everything from what to say to where to put the chairs. And it's got something some other mediation books lack: a sense of the "spirituality" of mediation.
For the techniques in this volume grew out of the Friends Conflict Resolution Programs (FCRP). And the Religious Society of Friends ("Quakers") is pretty good at conflict resolution.
(It's those "meetings." Some readers may know that in the early days of the United States, a half-century of so before the Emancipation Proclamation, the Friends unilaterally, voluntarily, and unanimously freed every last one of their slaves -- and paid them to boot, if I'm not mistaken. And anybody who has ever attended a Quaker meeting will understand why, even if they've never heard of John Woolman.)
I've got quite a few Quakers in my family tree, so I'm pleased by this approach. But it's very understated and mostly behind the scenes, so the casual reader will notice only that the book has a certain mood or tone.
What's really going on is that the mediation advice herein is implicitly predicated on the presumption that people are competent to settle their own disputes because each of them has "that of God" within. And the extraordinary sensitivity of the advice is based firmly on Quaker sensibilities: namely, respect for the individual conscience as the very voice of God, and a profound belief in the power of _listening_ both to others and to oneself.
The result is a book of advice on mediation that looks an awful lot like a book on how to grasp the "sense of a meeting." Even beyond the nuts and bolts, the "flavor" of the book will itself help the reader get a feel for what mediation is all about. That's a nice feature in a book on ADR, and it's no wonder Beer's book has been in print for so long.
Allan Goodman's _Basic Skills for the New Mediator_ is a good companion volume, by the way. His book is more aimed at people who do mediation in "courtlike" settings, whereas Beer's is for pretty much any context (including workplace and family, both of which she discusses). The two together are a powerful combination of resources, arguably surpassing many more expensive books on the subject.
And for a good history of the subject of ADR, see Linda Singer's _Settling Disputes_, which I've also reviewed.
It's a keeper!