What are the Different Types of Mediation?


When it comes to resolving disputes or conflicts, mediation can be an effective tool to help parties communicate, find mutual ground, and reach a resolution. However, there is not just one type of mediation. Various types of mediation are practiced in different contexts and situations. In this article, we will explore some of the different types of mediation used in various settings. As a provider of mediation services, Rhino Mediation believes that it is essential to understand these different approaches to mediation to find the most successful and appropriate approach to any given situation.

Facilitative Mediation

Facilitative mediation is the most used type of mediation. It is often described as the “traditional” type of mediation. The facilitative mediator will use active listening and open-ended questions to hear both parties’ sides and guide the conversation towards a mutually beneficial agreement. They may reframe information and summarize it to help both parties clarify their objectives and see the other’s point of view. They will not make decisions for the parties but instead help them reach their own understanding of what is most important for them.

Evaluative Mediation

Evaluative mediation is a more structured and legalistic approach to resolving a conflict. The mediator would act as an expert in the subject area being mediated. The mediator would offer opinions and suggestions on the most appropriate solution, taking into account the legal framework and precedents set that are relevant to the dispute. This type of mediation requires parties to be comfortable with attorneys as they will be an integral part of this role’s proceedings.

Transformative Mediation

Transformative mediation focuses on empowering people. It is a process that aims to transform the relationship between the parties, making them better equipped and motivated to resolve their issues amicably. The transformative mediator works with the parties to develop communication skills, build trust, and ensure that the parties’ individual needs and feelings are recognized and valued.

Narrative Mediation

Narrative mediation involves parties telling their stories or versions of events, which helps them understand the root of the problem. The mediator will encourage the parties to listen to each other’s stories, identify what is most important to each party, and help them develop a better understanding of each party’s various perspectives. By understanding the narrative, this approach aims to help both parties dismantle their preconceptions and biases.

Online Mediation

Online mediation is a relatively new approach to mediation that has arisen with the rise of online communication. It’s a non-intrusive process usually conducted using video conferencing platforms or the contact option that the parties find most suitable, like phone or email. Online mediation gives parties the freedom to maintain the privacy of their conversation, which can be an advantage in more sensitive cases.

Choosing the Right Mediation Approach for Your Needs

Mediation is a process that can come in many forms and variations. There is no one size fits all solution. That is why different types of mediation exist. Understanding the type of mediation to use requires a mediator to think carefully about the parties’ circumstances and choose the most suitable option. At Rhino Mediation, we know the importance of selecting the right mediation technique. The appropriate technique choices are based on cost efficiency, the quality of outcomes, and parties’ satisfaction, among other factors. Contact Rhino Mediation to learn more about mediation techniques and select the right method for you.

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