Mediators Mentoring Mediators

The Launch of the M&M Club happened on Friday, January 15th, 2016 at my office. I have decided to change the name to Mediators Mentoring Mediators because that seems more reflective of what actually transpired.  Everyone in the room has completed extensive mediation training; two of us have been in the business for almost two decades. As everyone shared their current challenges and their journey to where they are today, we were all learning from each other as we were learning about each other.

Many new ideas popped up that I will share in future Posts.  For now I just wanted to announce that the next MMM Meeting will be on Friday February 5th at 6:30pm – 8:30pm.

A couple of the folks who are hoping for some mentoring would like an opportunity to observe a workplace mediation.  If any of you could make that happen please send me a note and I’ll connect you up with them.

I’ve also been working on a clause that can be included in my contracts regarding mentoring.  I’d like to know what you think of the idea. Is it necessary? How might the clients respond? Should I just proceed as if it is a natural thing to do?  Should their be a clause regarding Insurance, or does that open a can of worms? Is it an idea whose time has come to make it normal practice for seasoned mediators to mentor junior mediators?  Is it something you have wrestled with?  If yes, then please share what you have learned.

DRAFT CLAUSE:  ADR International Group Inc. supports the mentoring of new mediators.  On occassion, with permission of the parties, I may invite a mentee to observe or to assist with the mediation.  The mentee will be screened and supervised by a Senior Mediator, and will be bound by the same confidentiality clause as the Mediator.  Do you grant your permission to allow someone under my mentorship to be involved on the files I work on under this contract?


The Alberta Civil Court Mediator Roster is currently open for applications.  It is a great way to gain some experience. Closing date is February 1st so get your resume dusted off and secure some references.  If you can’t locate the application on their website send me a note at

Comment on “Mission Possible: Canada can prevent Homegrown Terrorism”

Mission Possible: Canada can Prevent Homegrown Terrorism

In response to Ben Hoffman’s post

Author: Paula Drouin, Founder and President of ADR International Group Inc. has a Master’s degree in Human Security and Peace Building.

Well said Ben! When I was young, communism was blamed for random acts of violence. As a teenager the ‘immoral hippies’ were blamed. In more peaceful times it was ‘teenagers’. I remember my son asking me why people hated teenagers. He was twelve at the time and had been looking forward to becoming one. Then finally Mental Health Awareness campaigns started reaching the majority, however that resulted in blaming schizophrenics, sociopaths, and psychopaths for everything. Later campaigns then started educating people to understand mental health disorders and that not everyone with a diagnosis is dangerous.

Now it is terrorists, which could at least be a description comprised of certain behaviours and beliefs and not just a label. Until of course we use it as a label. Whenever we stop separating the behaviour from the person/people, we create a more complex issue.

Because the term terrorist is now being applied as a label, the ground is set for sophisticated, century long debates that will include intelligent phrases like “we are not the terrorists, you are!”. So how do we avoid that? A good start is by identifying the behaviors that are unacceptable.   If we publically said these are the behaviours that are unacceptable and will be punished by law no matter your religion, race, education, socio-economic background…. wait a minute…we actually do that already don’t we!

Someone searching for an identity can’t get what we don’t create. If we stop elevating a crime simply from the crime it is into something with the celebrity status label of “terrorist” then maybe we could prevent some of the “self-radicalized” from achieving that terrorist label.  Perhaps manufacturing a bomb with the intent of killing many innocent people could become a shameful act with no label awarded, and no notoriety.

Perhaps we could make it easier for the self-radicalized youth to become the next non-violent activist for the environment or for any cause that requires unrequited passion and devotion, than becoming the next terrorist. It would be a start.

Separating behaviours from the person is a lot of what we do as professional mediators. It can be what we teach our children. It can be what we teach our employees. It can be how, as a country, we communicate our intolerance for the random acts of violence that terrify us because they leave us feeling helpless.  The population just needs to know what the crimes are, what the government is doing to prevent them, and what we can do as individuals to protect our families. Without making us afraid of a piece of cloth, or an accent, or the colour of someone’s skin, or their religion. Without fear flooding our brains with chemicals that paralyze us from being able to take rational reasonable action, we will most often take rational reasonable action.

I hope as a country we can role model how to stay out of the finger pointing, blaming, fault finding game and instead continue to create laws and processes to prevent and prosecute criminal acts.


M & M Café – Mediation Mentoring Café

Starfish Sized for Eventbrite

Photo and Article by Paula Drouin, Founder and President of ADR International Group Inc. January 8th, 2015

Adding action to my previous blog I have decided to organize the first M & M Café to provide an opportunity for new, or past, graduates and working mediators in the Edmonton Area to come together to co-create some mentoring opportunities.  I am open to having the group co-create a new name as well. Perhaps “Mentoring like a Starfish”.

This first meeting of GREAT MINDS will be hosted by me at my office.  If the event gets too big we can move downstairs to La Crema Café. Struggling graduates and seasoned mediators welcome!

The GOAL for the first meeting will be to hear from graduates who are experiencing a slump since graduating and are struggling to get: meaningful experiences; opportunities to master the theory and skills; opportunities to contribute to their community; and/or to get meaningful practise time or support.  Once we have created a list of the challenges you are facing then we can work together to brainstorm some possible options to fill the gap between training and applying what you have learned in a meaningful way.

I hope to see many of you next Friday night!  This is the link to register: