Doctorate-Level Careers in Negotiation and Conflict Management

  • Healthcare Mediator
  • Family Law Facilitator
  • Sports Mediator
  • Foreclosure Mediator
  • Peer Mediation Teacher

Now that you excel in negotiation and conflict management, arguing parties will value your peacemaking skills. Opposing factions need your compassion, neutrality, and insightful troubleshooting. The field is vast. Mediation is favored by large employers, including hospitals, courts, mortgage lenders, sports leagues, and schools. Here are jobs where your diplomacy will pave the way to agreements.

See our ranking of the 10 Great Deals: Doctorate in Negotiation & Conflict Management Online.

1. Healthcare Mediator

With the surge in malpractice insurance claims, more health care providers are opting to hire a mediator, whose goal is to help settle claims out of court. The healthcare mediator negotiates between conflicted parties, using strategies that promote cooperation.

Once ground rules are established, each participant voices their grievances, without interruption. The mediator then clarifies the issues, summarizing concerns in a “Problem Statement.” With objective input, the mediator helps each party consider the other’s viewpoint. Then, the attendees brainstorm ways to resolve the problem.

If a settlement is reached, the final decision is documented, each party signing their consent. Healthcare mediators are sought by hospitals, insurance companies, courts, and major medical practices.

2. Family Law Facilitator

This legal professional assists people involved in family court cases. In some states, the facilitator helps parties formulate an agreement, which is then presented to a court. This preparation is commonly done for disputes over child custody and child support.

The family law facilitator informs citizens on court procedures, including those involving domestic violence, paternity, divorce, and court order modifications. For litigants without representation, the facilitator details their options, without giving legal advice.

Additionally, the facilitator helps individuals complete court forms, schedule cases on the court calendar, and calculate amounts for spousal and child support. With a facilitator present to explain legal terms, court proceedings are less intimidating. Some jurisdictions allow mediation between litigants during court proceedings.

For people needing other types of legal assistance, the facilitator gives referrals to social service agencies. In most counties, the facilitator is employed by courts, so their mediation services are provided free of charge.

3. Sports Mediator

This shrewd pacifist allays disputes involving sports leagues, unions, athletes, coaches, and team owners. Fruitful negotiation quickly ends strikes and lockouts. Issues often fielded by sports mediators include contracts, defamation, broadcasting, revenues, and disciplinary action. Through efficient deal-making, parties save money in the millions.

Unlike arbitration and litigation, where one entity loses, this referee ensures that every participant wins. Plus, when negotiation includes foresight, future battles can be avoided.

Joint meetings only succeed when attendees can stay level-headed, difficult when stakes are high. Decisions often affect player salaries, ticket sales, and broadcasting revenues. When open communication fails, the mediator has an alternate option, the “private caucus.”

Using this forum, the mediator speaks with each party and their lawyer confidentially, away from players. Private meetings continue until the attendees consent to a deal. Here, Harvard Law School recalls how mediation stopped a 113-day strike by the National Hockey League in 2012.

4. Foreclosure Mediator

With the help of this intercessor, mortgages become manageable, enabling property owners to keep their homes. On pending court cases, the foreclosure mediator leads discussions between the mortgage lender, borrowers, and their lawyers.

The goal is making a mortgage work long-term, such as by a repayment plan, loan modification, amended interest rate, or receiving aid from a state or federal agency. Through such practical solutions, the mediator helps defer trials, default rulings, and foreclosure sales.

Meetings take place in a courthouse, the mediator speaking both privately and jointly with the parties. When an agreement is reached, the mediator advises the judge of the outcome. Usually, there is no charge to homeowners for mediation, the cost footed by government budgets or banks that initiate foreclosures.

5. Peer Mediation Teacher

This educator empowers students to work out problems among themselves. With peer mediation, clashing students learn negotiation and conflict resolution from a trained facilitator. Student issues faced by peer mediation teachers include racism, cultural prejudice, social media infractions, harassment, spreading rumors, cheating, vandalism, stealing, and assaults.

School mediation programs avert student confrontations, bullying, and violence. Nipping conflict in the bud also cuts the need for disciplinary action. From the peer mediation teacher, kids learn how to interpret body language, listen reflectively, control anger, lower defenses, and communicate effectively.

Additionally, student leaders are trained in conflict resolution between fellow schoolmates. Usually, two students preside over a meeting, during which disagreeing peers present their arguments. After reaching an understanding, the students confirm their treaty by signing a document or shaking hands.

At the elementary through high school levels, mediation builds student rapport. From The Daily Gazette, here’s a model example of a peer mediation program.

Doctor of Diplomacy

On a professional level, the practice of negotiation and conflict management is both art and science. Your skillful diplomacy will win the respect and cooperation of those you serve. With a doctorate, you can work as a mediator in the fields of healthcare, family law, competitive sports, foreclosures, and education. Forging handshakes from stalemates, you’ll leave a trail of smiles.