What is Mediation?

Choosing Mediation


Everyone experiences conflict. Unresolved conflict is costly, stressful, time-consuming and can cause many other problems.


What is Mediation?


Mediation is a negotiation method in which an impartial third party, called a mediator, helps the parties to resolve their issues. Mediators facilitate communication between parties. They encourage the exchange of information and urge the parties to look at the problem from different points of view and to explore ideas for dispute resolution. The parties, not the mediator, ultimately make the decisions about the terms of their agreement.


Facilitative Mediation


This is the oldest type of mediation, made popular in the 1960s and ’70s. In this type of dispute resolution, the mediator works with all the parties to aid them in reaching a resolution that is agreeable for everyone involved. The mediator listens to all sides, helping the parties analyze the issues as well as explore options that would be favorable for a resolution. While the mediator does not recommend a solution, he or she does offer advice and even opinions regarding the potential outcome. It is the job of the mediator to keep the opposing parties from berating each other and digressing into a bitter language, resorting to name calling and other non-productive behaviors.

With this type, all parties can hear each other’s point of view in a safe environment. The mediator listens, validates concerns, and aids the parties in coming to a reasonable, mutually acceptable agreement.