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SOUTH COAST — Local nonprofit mediation organization Common Ground Mediation will be holding basic mediation training in May as an effort to train citizens in Coos and Douglas counties on how to mediate various situations.

This year, Common Ground is implementing a blended Basic Mediation Training course, which allows those who decide to take the course the opportunity to review materials online before a two-day, in-person class.

“This is basic mediation training, so you’re going to learn what it means to be a mediator, and what a general mediation process looks like,” said Karlee Cottrell with Common Ground. “They’ll also learn skills to handle hot button issues, and recognize what your hot button issues might be.”

Cottrell said that the training teaches future mediators to diffuse situations, navigate conflicts, and communication styles.

“Learning how to navigate conflict styles starts with learning your own conflict style, and how you respond to other peoples… knowing about communication styles are important because it helps you listen effectively. As a mediator you do a lot of listening,” Cottrell said.  

Common Ground Mediation estimates that the online course materials will take approximately 20 hours. The in-person classes being two full days would bring the course time to approximately 36 hours.   

“There are six modules that we have for people online, and we approximate that it will take about 20 hours of their time to go through,” Cottrell said.

The mediation class will take on 16 students in Douglas County and another 16 in Coos County. Dates for in-person are May 17-18 for Douglas, and May 31-June 1 for Coos County.

In order to be a certified mediator in Oregon one must go through a minimum 32-hour mediation course in accordance with Oregon Revise Statute 36.

According to Common Grounds this sort of mediation training is ideal for folks like business managers, nonprofit executives, community leaders, government employees, human resource professionals, educators, legal professionals, court employees, career changers or anyone with a passion for constructive communications and dispute resolution.         

The cost for the mediation class is $500 for private individuals, and $300 for nonprofits and local, state and tribal governments. There is an optional 50 percent refund if you commit to help Common Grounds with mediations for a one year period after completing the course. Common Ground also offers a limited number of scholarships.

“This training is a really useful tool for and process to learn about constructive communication, and being able to navigate tough situations to help diffuse the situation,” Cottrell said.

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Nicholas A. Johnson can be reached at 541-266-6049, or by email at nicholas.johnson@theworldlink.com.

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