In Jeff Thompson and Hugh McGowan's article detailing the requirements of an NYPD hostage negotiator, I found the similarities to a well seasoned mediator very interesting. Once aspect of thier requirements that I have adopted in my own mediation practice, is subject matter expertise. The NYPD requires the negotiator be a well seasoned detective (12 years experience) so they have the empathy and understanding of the situation, and the perspective of the perpetrator and officers dealing with the situation. I am not comparing myself to the stress and situations they deal with, but I do beleive my expertise in franchising, and choosing to mediate franchise disputes, provides that added strength and understanding that assists in my handling of, and the parties confidence, in my abilities.
I wonder if mediators were to limit their scope to areas of expertise, would that make them more effective?