Mediation Skills Training

Original Content provided by Jennifer Ballard, Pam Karim, and Jackie Lustig from the Winter 2014 WBAI Newsletter.

In 1979, the Center for Conflict Resolution (“CCR”) was founded by members of the Young Lawyers Section of the Chicago Bar Association. They were committed to the idea that the individuals involved in a dispute are often best equipped to resolve the matter. Thirty-six years later, the CCR continues to provide free mediations for people in the Chicagoland area, with no requirements as to the amount in dispute or the type of conflict. In addition, the CCR provides mediation and conflict management training to individuals, corporations and not for profit organizations.

The CCR’s Mediation Skills Training is approved by the Cook County Courts. It provides participants with the basic techniques needed to mediate disputes and complements their current occupational skills. The training focuses on the negotiation and communications skills used by mediators to move effectively through the mediation process. The heart of the CCR learning experience comes from the simulated mediations and the individualized coaching each trainee receives. Over half of the training is spent practicing mediation skills under the guidance of experienced mediator-trainers. The trainers are present for all practice sessions and provide concrete and individualized feedback. The trainers serve as coaches, giving feedback, identifying trainees’ strengths and weaknesses, and using methods to help trainees reach their highest potential. These simulations are enhanced by a series of lectures, discussions, and demonstrations covering topics such as the CCR mediation process, ethical concerns, and different mediation models.

The CCR also offers a wide variety of workshops ranging from interpersonal conflict management to advocacy in mediation. All of its workshops are custom designed for clients to fit the needs of their organizations. The CCR workshops are interactive and can include coached, simulated conflicts or mediations. The CCR offers workshops in half-day formats or can present them in one or two days, depending on the needs of the client.

Information on upcoming training dates and registration materials can be found at