Frequently Asked Questions. Find answers to your questions about mediation.

Are There Different Types Of Mediation?

What are the different types of Mediation?

Yes. The role of the mediator is a bit different in eachtypeand most mediators utilize a combination of these types.

Facilitative Mediation:
In a facilitative mediation, the mediator will take an active role in controlling the “process.” The mediator asks questions to identify the interests of the parties and the real issues in the disagreement. The mediator helps the parties explore solutions that benefit both parties. In a facilitative mediation, the mediator does not offer an opinion on the strengths and weaknesses of the parties’ cases. The mediator does not suggest solutions.

Transformative Mediation:
Transformative mediators try to change the nature of interaction by a) helping each party appreciate each others viewpoints; and b) by strengthening each party’s ability to handle disagreement in a productive positive manner. The mediator will intervene in the conversation between the parties in order to call attention to moments of recognition and empowerment. Ground rules for the mediation are set only if the parties set them. The mediator does not direct the parties to topics or issues. Instead, the mediator follows the parties’ conversation and assist them to talk about what they think is important. The transformative mediator does not offer an opinion on the strengths or weaknesses of the parties’ cases. The mediator does not suggest solutions.

Evaluative Mediation:
Evaluative mediators use their expertise to focus and assist parties: a) to assess the strengths and weaknesses of their legal or other positions; and b) to achieve settlements. In evaluative mediation, the mediator controls the process and suggests solutions for resolving the conflict. Individual meetings between the mediator and one party at a time (caucuses) are a major component of evaluative mediation. The focus of an evaluative mediation is primarily upon reaching a settlement. The mediators will make their best efforts to get the parties to compromise, if necessary, to achieve a result.

This process is similar to mediation but the conciliator acts more as an ‘inventor’ of solutions which are presented to the parties with a view of getting them to agree as to how the disagreement can be resolved. The conciliation mediator frequently provides suggestions and out-of-the-box ideas. Conciliation differs from mediation in that the main goal is to conciliate, most of the time by seeking concessions. Generally there is a mixture of fact-to-face and private caucuses sometimes referred to as ‘shuttle diplomacy’. The conciliator meets with each party to separately prioritize a list of interests from most to least important. Then goes back and forth between the parties and encourages them to “give” on the issues one at a time, starting with the least important and working toward the most important for each party in turn. The parties rarely place the same priorities on all objectives, and usually have some objectives that are not on the list. The conciliator builds a string of agreements and help the parties create an atmosphere of trust which the conciliator can continue to develop into a ‘total’ mutually agreeable resolution.

Expert Determination:
Historically, this form of mediation has been used when the parties have strong defined positions that need to be subjected to an ‘expert’ or panel of experts to evaluate their positions, define the specific interests and help craft a suitable solution. The expert mediator(s) are very knowledgeable and possesses years of expertise in the area of the disagreement, dispute or conflict. Both parties of the mediation respect and trust the mediator(s) to help them resolve their differences and craft a solution that will be mutually beneficial to them and to their particular field or industry. Often the mediation details are not confidential, except for trade secrets, as industry policies and guidelines are often determined. The mediator(s) is empowered to make a settlement and/or policy which may or may not be agreeable to either party.

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