Dealing with resistance in initial intake and inquiry calls to mediation: the power of ‘willing’

2016-01-08T12:05:58Z (GMT) by Rein Sikveland Elizabeth Stokoe
This article explores how to best deal with resistance during and beyond initial encounters with prospective mediation clients. The study is based on a large dataset of intake calls to community and family mediation services in the UK. Using conversation analytic techniques we studied instances where call takers invited prospective clients to make a first appointment. We found that questions or proposals addressing whether the caller would be ‘willing’ to mediate generated stronger agreement from the caller than when other formats were used. We discuss how to best establish effective practice, in order to develop better training for mediators.