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Back to School to Coach Students in Mediation Skills

I recently went back to school for a day, delivering mediation skills training to a group of sixth-formers at Abraham Darby Academy in Telford. I was part of a team of volunteer professional mediators from Talking Works, the mediation training arm of legal charity Law Works.

Through films, activities and role plays, the students were introduced to the idea of mediation, and how it can be used to resolve all kinds of conflict, from relationship issues within school and disputes between neighbours in university halls of residence, to legal disputes and even international conflicts. The students acquired skills they can immediately put to use in their own lives such as active listening, empathising, effective questioning, generating solutions and being impartial.

It was great to work with an enthusiastic group of sixth-formers and to share some of my experiences as a mediator with them. Coaching them through the role plays was really rewarding, as they started to put the new skills they were learning into practice, and saw the power of mediation to produce change and help others to arrive at their own solutions to tricky problems. It was a tiring day, with a lot packed in, but it was really enjoyable and incredibly worthwhile.

More information about the Talking Works schools project can be found at their website at http://www.twis.org.uk/

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