Mediation is a process that aids parties to reach a mutually beneficial agreement by communicating and compromising with one another. The process has become an increasingly popular alternative to litigation, as it is less costly and time-consuming. Mediation can take many different forms, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. In this article, we will explore different types of mediation to help you understand which one could be suitable for your needs. As Rhino Mediation, we provide a comprehensive guide to give you everything you need to know about mediation.
Facilitative mediation is the most traditional form of mediation. The mediator’s role is to facilitate communication between the disputants, encouraging them to express their needs and interests. The mediator does not provide solutions or suggest outcomes but helps parties find their resolution.
Key features of facilitative mediation include:
- The mediator controls the process
- The parties control the outcome
- Focus on interests rather than positions
- The mediator asks questions to uncover underlying issues
In contrast to facilitative mediation, evaluative mediators play a more proactive role. They use their expertise and knowledge to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of each party’s case and provide an opinion on likely court outcomes if the dispute were to go to trial.
Key features of evaluative mediation include:
- The mediator provides an assessment of the dispute
- The mediator may suggest solutions
- Often used in legal disputes
Transformative mediation aims to transform the relationship between the parties. It focuses on empowering the parties and recognizing each other’s needs and interests. This style is often used in conflicts where there is a continuing relationship, such as family disputes.
Key features of transformative mediation include:
- Focus on empowerment and recognition
- The parties have control over both the process and outcome
- The mediator supports the parties in their decision-making process
Narrative mediation is a relatively new style that focuses on the stories or narratives each party tells about the dispute. The mediator helps the parties to understand each other’s narratives and to construct a new shared narrative that includes a resolution.
Key features of narrative mediation include:
- Focus on understanding and changing narratives
- The mediator helps to deconstruct unhelpful narratives
- The parties jointly construct a new narrative that includes a resolution
The hybrid mediation combines features of two or more types of mediation. For example, a mediator may use a facilitative approach to elicit both parties’ opinions and an evaluative approach to assess the strengths and weaknesses of those opinions. Supporters of hybrid mediation believe it has distinct advantages over traditional models.
Online mediation is a form of mediation that takes place using digital tools such as video conferencing or online chat. It is best suited for parties who are unable to meet in person or want to avoid travel time and expenses. Online mediation is often used in international disputes or for parties in remote locations.
Choosing the Right Mediation Style
Mediation is an effective method of conflict resolution that can help parties in disputes reach a mutual agreement without going to court. It’s vital to understand the different types of mediation available, and when it’s best to use them, to get the most effective results.
The selection of mediation style largely depends on the nature of the dispute, the relationship between the parties, and their desired outcomes. By understanding these different styles, parties can make an informed choice about which approach will serve them best. At Rhino Mediation, we are committed to providing the right mediation style tailored to the unique needs of our clients.