Think about the purpose of the mediation
First thing you need to do when you are doing your mediation exam is to think about the purpose of the mediation, that is, what the other person needs. because that is going to help you easily identify which structures you need to use to perform your mediation successfully.
-I’ll give you an example: if you are helping somebody choose between two options you’ll need to use comparing and contrasting structures. For example, imagine there is someone, a friend of yours, for instance, who is coming from The United States and they are going to rent a car but they don’t know which option is best and they ask you for help.
And there are two options in your mediation card, they have the silver option and the gold option. In the instructions for the mediation it is specified that they want to be worry-free, they want to travel without having to bring pocket money to fill in the tank.
When you compare the two options, you are going to clarify by saying something like:
“You can go for silver but then silver doesn’t include the petrol card, whereas with the gold option you are given a card for 500 kilometres, that you can use all around the country in any petrol station and that’s super convenient. As you said in your email that you wanna travel worry-free, this seems to be the best option for you.”
– Now, imagine that you’re giving advice to someone because they want to improve their relationship with their children. In that case, you’re going to use structures like:
“According to the text, it would be a good idea to listen before you speak when you are having a conversation with your children, even if you’re angry or mad about something that they did.”
Or you could say:
“From what I read, it is advisable to agree on the norms and house rules so they know where they stand”
CONCLUSION: Choosing structures that are appropriate for the purpose of the mediation is imperative in any mediation. OK that’s TIP number one
Be neutral. You know that in mediation you are not to give your opinion unless you are explicitly asked to, so you need to be objective, you need to be neutral and you can’t express whether one option or the other is better in your opinion. However, you can express whether one option or another is better for them according to their situation, to what they expressed that they needed, but not in your opinion.
So make sure when you compare, for example, if there are several options or if you’re giving advice, make sure you make reference to the context.
For example you could say something like: “as I know you are worried about your son’s behaviour this text that I found may be of help. In your case, there are two options that you can choose between according to this infographic that you sent me.”
So you are making reference and justifying why you’re giving that information according to the situation and according to the text.
This may sound really obvious, right? yes but it’s easier said than done because one thing is knowing it and a very different thing is doing it so when mediating texts. If you find that there is an idea that is mentioned usually a couple of times, you don’t need to mention it twice, once is enough because that way you are saving yourself time and you allow yourself to go straight to the point because that is one key aspect in mediation.
You need to go straight to the point, don’t beat about the Bush, you don’t need to give a lot of explanations or examples to illustrate each bit of information. so avoid repetitions.
Skip the information that your audience doesn’t need
For example, the other day I was doing this practice with my students in a mediation course, and there was someone who was mediating a text about basic income. It was a task that had been published from an official exam. In the text there were a lot of details about the conditions for the new system for basic income, the amounts they could receive, who could apply for the subsidy, who was eligible and the specific conditions that they had to meet.
This student in particular gave a lot of details about the amount of money one can be granted about, who can apply for it… so not only were there several ideas that were repeated throughout the text, one of them was the age range for people who apply and then the exceptions, and another one was one of the conditions that people need to meet so they can be eligible for the subsidy.
Those ideas were repeated in two different paragraphs. This student was translating the text bit by bit, paragraph by paragraph, and that’s something that won’t help you to get a high score.
When there are ideas that are repeated, exclude them from your mediation, just mention them once and always summarise. Avoid going paragraph by paragraph.
Just find the information you need to provide more like an overview, unless the context instructs you to find specific information, but that is a totally different case.
The context is the key!
Let’s continue with the example I just gave you.
This student was giving all the details in the text, but in this particular case the task asked about the system in general, just because someone was curious about how it worked, not because they were going to apply for it.
So that makes a real difference. In a mediation like that, you need to provide a general explanation, not specific details because when we are mediating for specific details it is well specified in the context.
Ok, so far so good! And if you want more quality content for your exam, download our new app!
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