What professions make the best mediators?

Here are just some of the professions represented in our mediator pool:

Hostage negotiator, United Nations diplomat, Broadway producer, judge, NYPD detective, animal rights activist, stand-up comedian, closet space organizer, homemaker, lawyer, doctor, dog trainer, transit worker, mussel farmer, TV producer, journalist, actor, philanthropist, mystery novelist, social worker, marketing executive, stage manager, artist, IT guy, taxi driver, domestic violence advocate, court clerk, limousine company owner, cat breeder, bar owner, glass blower, religious leader, linguist, editor, musician, homeless shelter supervisor….

Thoughts on which of these professions make for “natural” mediators?

We haven’t done any empirical research on the correlation between professional background and mediator quality.  But we’ve trained hundreds and hundreds of folks from all walks of life, and honestly, I’m unable to make any connection between career choice and peacebuilding skills.   And this is something I really love about our profession — regardless of the letters behind your name, your career, your job, your background, you can build peace in your community.

Oh, I did read somewhere that middle children make good mediators.  We do seem to have a disproportionately high percentage of them in our pool.  So, Jan Brady-types in the metro area….call us….






5 thoughts on “What professions make the best mediators?

  1. I’m mediator advisor in Finland and we train volunteer mediators to mediate victim-offender cases. One of the most asked question is, what is the professional backround of our mediators. And just like you Brad, we can’t say that there is particular professionals, that are the best mediators. When we search new mediators, we look for individuals, who have healthy portion of common sense, who are interested to learn new things and who have open mind. I’m happy, that we have managed to create such culture in our office, where we are learning every day from each other and from people who participate to mediations. One beauty of mediation is, that we mediators have a chance to learn and grow every day. 🙂

    • We have teachers (primary, elementary & vocational school), social workers, lawyers, students, office workers, entrepreneurs, nurses, builders, people who work in personnel management, interpreter etc. In our area we have mediated from 1999. We have still lots of work to do, so mediation would gain some publicity and people would find our mediation courses.

  2. Pingback: On Bob Dylan and reverse international development. |

  3. Pingback: what do all these folks have in common? |

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