TOT 65: Role Plays with Instructions

Trainers use role plays to bring synergy between theory and practical aspects associated with mediation.

Even though oral instructions are given during pre-briefing, it is also better to mention the instructions at the bottom or in a separate paper

I Type of instructions

When the first role play is being done instructions can be like:

  1. Time – The role play should not go beyond 15 minutes.
  2. Mediator has to complete greeting, seating, introduction and opening statement as part of mediation process.
  3. Parties and advocates to identify the mistakes/errors committed by the mediator and note down the same in a separate slip.
  4. Parties to hand over the same to the mediator after 15 minutes.
  5. Thereafter during de briefing done by the resource person/trainer, mediator is free to agree or disagree on the errors/mistakes pointed out by the parties/advocates.

II Type of instructions

  1. Mediator to proceed with first joint session and two individual private sessions.
  2. Parties/advocates to identify –
  3. Whether the mediator made the restatement using paraphrasing summarizing and filtering skills.
  4. Whether the mediator used the technique of reflection?
  5. Whether mediator reiterated the ground rules wherever it was required.
  6. Whether the mediator used reframing.

III Type of instructions

(generally used in refresher courses)

Mediator to assist the parties in negotiations.

Mediator to note down what type of barriers the parties projected.

Mediator to identify the styles of negotiation adapted by each of the parties.

Mediator to identify if there was any impasse, and if so what was the reason for the same.

Mediator to come out with options to overcome the impasse.

Parties and advocates to note –

Whether the mediator was effectively assisting in negotiation?

What type of barriers to negotiation the parties projected and how did the mediator overcome the same?

What was the style of negotiation adapted by each of the parties?

Was there impasse? How did it occur? What did the mediator do to overcome it?


When written instructions are given participants consider practical role plays seriously.

They proceed in a focused, structured and organized manner.

They do not get into the mode of ‘enacting in a drama’ but work on understanding the concepts related to mediation.

They try to be more professional in their approach.

They understand the relevance of maintaining synergy between theoretical and practical aspects of mediation.

“Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do.”

Steve Jobs

All copy rights reserved by the author S.Susheela

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