A mediator is a neutral person who works with people to help resolve conflict. They help clear up miscommunication so people can understand each other.
“Mediators help people in conflict by focusing on what matters to the people involved, and addressing how that impacts their working or family relationship,” says Jacinta Gallant. “The goal is to improve communication to enhance good decision-making and problem-solving.”
How to become a mediator
“It is best to first get an education in something else. For example, nurses can become mediators in the health industry because they understand the medical system and have learned how to work with conflict. Construction mediators get called in during a construction dispute because they have expert knowledge and know how to resolve conflict.
“You don’t have to be a lawyer to be a mediator. If you are thinking of pursuing counselling, social work, psychology, education, health, policing, or environmental issues, there is a need for people knowledgeable in those areas who can also manage conflict.
Jacinta’s employment journey
Jacinta went to high school on PEI, took a four-year undergraduate degree in political science, and went on to three years of law school.
“As a lawyer, I did a lot of courtroom law, with criminal, family, and civil suits. When I worked with families going through separation and divorce, I soon realized that whether they won or lost, many clients did not feel that justice was served. Their family conflict worsened and it was hard for them to make a healthy transition to two homes.
“I wanted to do more than argue my case in court, so I took mediation training. Since then, I have spent more time with clients trying to understand their needs and the kind of relationship they want to have after separation. It is a whole different conversation. With help, many clients can make good decisions to resolve their conflict.”
For more about Waterstone Law Group, visit www.waterstonelawpei.ca.
For more about conflict resolution training, visit www.upei.ca/programsandcourses/interpersonal-and-workplace-conflict-resolution-certificate.