Logan Cooper’s webinar, “Getting the Most out of your Mediation,” has become a runaway success during the past few months. In this four (4) minute video, she shares a few more tips on how to get the most of your virtual mediation. Learning how to use a new medium takes a little time and trial and error. She advises that practise makes us better – so practise, practise, practise! Even if an in-person mediation is still preferred, Logan explains how you can use the features of virtual mediation tools to your advantage. She also cautions us to think of its limitations and keep them in mind as you prepare and participate.
Hey folks, Logan Cooper here from Cooper Mediation.
Some of you may have attended the webinar presentation I have been presenting over the last couple months: Getting the most out of your mediation.
It’s based on a paper I wrote (and I recommend you check out) though when I originally wrote the paper, virtual mediations were not exactly on my radar.
I wanted to share some of the tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your VIRTUAL mediation:
Firstly, practise makes us better. This is new for a lot of us and for some, learning how to operate technology may be like learning a new language. If you have a virtual mediation coming up, its a great idea to do a test run to become more familiar with the platforms features – I’m sure your mediator will be happy to help arrange this. If you need any help with this, I’m also happy to help even if we do not have a mediation scheduled together.
Learning how to communicate effectively through a device may also take some getting used to. Whether this is communication with the mediator, your client or with the opposing party there are some things to keep in mind.
Attention spans are shorter than ever with at-home distractions. Try your best to be clear and concise.
Virtual mediations allow you to do something that you can’t do in person… stare at people! Using grid-view you can see everyone at once. This is an opportunity to try and gage reactions while you, or others are speaking.
Your zoom mediation may be the only time you need to get all dolled up in at the moment, but try not to look at yourself. This is a major contributor to Zoom fatigue and honestly it just can’t be healthy to stare at yourself for that long.
Reading from your notes (just because people can’t see you doing it) is not ideal. Do your best to look at the person you are speaking to so you can see if they’re listening. Plus, it will feel much more natural. This is also a great way to pick up easy to miss body language cues.
Most of the normal communication techniques still apply: nodding your head and taking hand written notes show you’re listening. Hand gestures within the camera view can help communicate what some words cant. And of course, a smile goes a long way.
Although this may seem counter-intuitive, things seem to take longer with video-conference. Patience is key for a successful mediation.
Basic tips for setting up your video-conference:
Backdrop – keep it tidy. keep it conversational. It’s an opportunity to showcase some aspects of yourself that may not come through in a typical face-to-face mediation.
Backlight – can make you look kind of scary, but maybe that’s what you’re going for.
Know your angles – no one wants to see up your nose.
Headphones with a microphone are useful for keeping unwanted sounds out of the mediation.
WFH mullet – business up top and leisure down below. You can look good and be comfortable… at the same time!
There are certainly some things lost with virtual mediation, the biggest being the implicit buy-in of a face-to-face mediation. In theory, these days people can roll out of bed and participate in a mediation… maybe they don’t even their leave bed. There is something to be said about the effort and time put in to attending a mediation which adds value to resolving a case.
These days, when a case looks like it may not resolve, a simple button makes it a little too easy to leave the mediation. Fight this urge and make sure that you have made the most productive use of the mediation, even if its not a complete resolution of the case.
Like I said, practise makes us better. So practise, practise, practise. Keep these tips in mind and hopefully you will feel more comfortable and confident with your next zoom mediation. Most importantly and above everything else, be safe and stay healthy! Myself and the rest of the Cooper Mediation team hope to “see” you soon.