Types of Mediation

What are the different types of mediation available, and what do they involve?
There are two kinds of mediation, facilitative and evaluative.

Facilitative Mediation:
This is where both parties agree to facilitate mediation, and allows the parties to come to a settlement if that is possible. The purpose of the mediation in this situation is to simply help two parties in reaching an agreement. Facilitative mediation is
  • Non judicial
  • Non expert, it does not give expert advice
  • Has no finding or final judgement
  • Has no assessment or recommendation
  • Has no advice
Evaluative Mediation:
With evaluative mediation, the mediator tries to work out where the parties are at. Sometimes, parties may request that the mediator switchs to evaluative mode at an advanced stage of the mediation, Evaluative mediators are more concerned with the legal rights of the parties rather than the needs and interests of the parties.

This is a term used in mediation which means a "zone of potential agreement". Once a mediator has determined the interests of both parties, the zones or potential agreement can be discovered, where the interests of all parties involved overlap. The parties can then focus on viable options. A ZOPA may only become known after parties explore their options and interests.

This is the Best Alternative To a Negotiated Solution. This is the worst case scenario, if mediation breaks down, what are the alternatives? It is important to work this out, for the following reasons:
  • You can judge every offer against it
  • If you have a good alternative to negotiation, you can get better terms in the negotiated settlement
  • If you have an alternative to mediation, you have more confidence in the process
  • If you have a good alternative, you can be willing to break of negotiations and therefore achieve more in the negotiations
  • You have the option of disclosing your BATNA to the other side to help your position
  • If you do not have a good BATNA, you know it is best to keep that to yourself
  • You might be able to work out the other side's BATNA
  • You can realistically estimate what can be expected from the negotiations