Mediator – Which One Did You Pick?

What type of mediator did you choose? Is there an ideal mediator or ideal mediation model. Central to the mediator's role is that of an unbiased, neutral professional who is employed to assist in resolving disputes and arriving at agreements. Mediators bring their unique craft, personality, values and experience to the table. There is no one model of mediation that professionals adhere to - rather they employ a few. Regardless on the model chosen, professional integrity and ability to connect with parties and counsel is critical. There are three main types of mediators or models of mediation. There is the Evaluative one / Directive; Facilitative; or Transformative.  Likely your mediator will employ all, or one to two types through your mediation. 

The mediator spends much time as a facilitator – facilitating [Inquiry model] discussions and clarifying dialogue and communication patterns. They will take offers to settle back and forth to the parties and their counsel in an effort to develop a range of options. The inquiry model seeks to gather information on interests and desired outcome in order to come to an agreement. The mediator facilitates developing and drafting Minutes of Settlement, MoS or Minutes of Understanding, MoU. Facilitated Mediation, coined by Riskin, is the most classic of mediation models. The mediator in essence seeks to illicit information from the parties, and gleans critical pieces of the puzzle and how they all fit together to facilitate solutions or possible resolution to the dispute. The Evaluative mediator, evaluates proposals and offers and may weigh in on the merits of your case. This style, also termed the directive style can best be described as more akin to a judge's style. This style is often indicative of what you see in the court process during case conferences. Transformative Model, by name alone, implies that the process of mediation, in and of itself, may transform parties and thus shift the case's trajectory to a more cooperative and functional one.