Integrative mediation is the synthesis of coaching, conflict management, and mediation. In bridging the gap between work and private life, a coach will normally support people with change and development processes, whereas a moderator will focus mainly on conflicts and disputes. A new certification program offered by the “competence institute unisono" Steinbeis Transfer Institute, which is based at Steinbeis University Berlin, provides course participants with the tools for working in professional coaching, conflict management, and mediation roles. Werner Tafel, the program’s developer and head of training, and Christian Munz, a graduate of the program, tell us more about their experiences.
Mr. Tafel, what is so special about this combined training as coach and mediator?
Werner Tafel: We teach coaching, mediation, facilitation, the art of communication and, to some extent, client-centered therapy. This works well due to a basic foundation, the so-called competence spiral of Tafel® which forms the backbone of support provided during the process. It’s important that course participants don’t just focus on conflict the whole time, but that they’re made aware of the broad spectrum between concentrating on task resolution and conflict resolution.
What exactly is so different about integrative mediation?
Werner Tafel: Integrative mediation is a method of “process support.” It offers a structured process which completely integrates the phase model for mediation. The advantage lies in having a thought-out, functioning basic structure. Unlike classic mediation, integrative mediation moves between two apparently very different poles: the development of potential success and how to deal with the potential for conflict.
You initiated the European Association for Integrative Mediation (EGIM e.V.) this year. What inspired you to do that?
Werner Tafel: We’d like to create a qualification for process facilitators which takes the unique skills of the individual into account, truly valuing the individual on the opposite side of the table. Our aim is to create a certification environment that doesn’t pigeonhole people according to fixed expectations. Our first priority is to highlight individual strengths.
How did the collaboration with the “competence institute unisono" at Steinbeis University Berlin come about?
Werner Tafel: The institute offers participants who have successfully completed their training in integrative mediation the chance to attain a university certificate, giving them an opportunity to become a certified “Integrative Coach and Mediator (SHB),” regardless of their educational background. The institute dovetails professionalism with respect for people. It promotes the unity of so-called hard and soft skills.
Mr. Munz, what made you decide to take part in the training for certification as an Integrative Mediator at Steinbeis University Berlin?
Christian Munz: Next year, I will leave the armed forces after 15 years of service. Initially, my goal was to polish my profile as a manager in human resources. As a secondary aim, I wanted to gain further training in interpersonal interaction. Advising people and guiding them is my core competence. This program not only strengthened my competences, know-how, and practical skills. It really taught me a lot about myself. My overall conclusion: one should never be afraid to work on oneself, or with intrinsic personality structures, especially if one wants to work with others in these areas.
How have you been able to apply integrative mediation in your daily professional life, and how has your training influenced this work?
Christian Munz: Although military service is clearly different from “normal” employment, intrinsically it’s still about people who are communicating and cooperating with one another – or not! In the military, personal and work-related interactions are pretty different from what most people might think. If you bring people together with different interests and specialist backgrounds, you’re bound to have friction. This is precisely where my training will help me to facilitate and defuse conflicts. When I start down my new career path, I hope to apply these new skills just as easily and successfully.