Which type of mediation is best for you?
There are various types of mediation available to parties involved in disputes who want to avoid going to court.
Many people often assume that all mediation processes are the same. However, the fact is that mediators tend to follow different mediation approaches beyond the generic aim of reaching an agreeable settlement.
Depending on the type of conflict at hand, mediators may lean towards different types of mediation, which is why it is best to know the style of the mediator you are interested in working with.
Before choosing a mediator, you should consider the various types of mediation available to decide which one is best for you.
Also known as traditional mediation, the facilitator approach is where a mediator works to facilitate the negotiation process between disputing parties. The entire premise rests on encouraging the parties to voluntarily reach a solution by exploring the other party’s interests. Here, the mediator does not inflict a decision nor make recommendations with the aim of keeping their own opinions hidden from plain sight.
Court mandated mediation
Most mediation processes happen voluntarily. In some situations, a court can mandate for mediation should it view mediation as a speedier and more cost efficient way to reaching a settlement.
Where there is reluctance to engage in mediation, the success of court mandated mediation is low. However, should both parties share a genuine to reaching a settlement, success rates are high.
Working in contract to facilitative mediation, evaluative mediation is where a mediator is more likely to express their opinions about a case. This includes making suggestions and recommendations based on practicality and a third party perspective of reasonableness.
As opposed to the traditional sense of mediation focusing on underlying interests, evaluative mediation tend to focus on the legal merits of a case based on fairness. Most evaluative mediators are often lawyers themselves with specialised expertise in the area of dispute.
In transformative mediation, the mediator sets the tone by empowering parties to resolve the conflict through sympathy for the other party.
This is where recognition of the other party’s interests and needs is realised. The process works to transforming parties’ relationship through acquiring skills necessary to make a constructive change.
A hybrid also known as med-arb, parties in a mediation arbitration begin by agreeing on the terms of the processes along with a written agreement that the outcome of such will be binding.
Negotiation then commences with the help of a mediator. Should the mediation process leave issues unsolved, parties can then move onto arbitration where the mediator can assume the role of arbitrator should they be qualified to do so. This then allows the mediator to issue a binding decision quickly based on their judgments of the case and its unresolved matters.
Where the mediator is not qualified to take on the role of an arbitrator, an external arbitrator is engaged after consultations with the mediator.
In an arbitration-mediation framework, an arbitrator heard both parties’ evidence and testimonies in an arbitration setting and writes an award without showing the parties.
The next phase is to attempt the mediation process. Should parties fail to reach a settlement here, the previously determined award will become binding. The advantage of having arbitration before mediation as opposed to med-arb is to avoid any misuse of confidential information shared in mediation.
A modern approach to traditional mediation, online mediation has become increasingly popular in recent years. Removing many obstacles faced with traditional mediation, world class mediators are now able to provide mediation services to parties located at far distances from one another.
Through online mediation, parties are able to meet deadlines and attendance without having to physically travel or skip pre existing obligations. With implementation of video conferencing, parties are able to easily communicate in real time while benefiting from the visual and audio cues you would catch on in real life.
With many studies suggesting that online mediation can be just as effective as traditional mediation techniques, a new age of mediation is beginning. Moreover, parties often find ways online mediation to be less stressful, fostering a more positive environment that fosters trust and confidence.
If you are considering engaging in mediation, it is worth considering online mediation as a platform to reach a settlement.