Is mediation a negotiation?
The difference between negotiation and mediation, in brief, is that negotiation involves only the parties, and mediation involves the intervention and assistance of a third party (the mediator) as a facilitator in the parties' effort to resolve their dispute.
While a negotiator represents one party or the other, a mediator is an impartial facilitator with no link to either party in a negotiation. He has no interest in the substance of an agreement itself, but is, rather, concerned with the process of helping the parties reach a satisfactory agreement on their own.
In negotiation, parties agree to work with one another in order to get to a resolution. This means relying on the other individual to want to achieve a result. Sometimes, talking to one another directly is not the best solution. In mediation, parties agree to work together, but under the guidance of a trained mediator.
Mediation is usually viewed as superior for resolving disputes because it is consensual, relatively quick, flexible and costs little for either party involved.
Negotiation: voluntary process in which parties reach agreement through consensus. Consensus means a decision that all can support. Mediation: using a third party to facilitate the negotiation process. (The mediator does not have the authority to impose a solution.)
Mediation means the process in which a neutral (means not supporting any one side) third party assists the parties in conflict to reach a solution. The third party is called the mediator and the mediator facilitates communication between the parties.
The mediator assists and guides the parties toward their own resolution. The mediator does not decide the outcome, but helps the parties understand and focus on the important issues needed to reach a resolution.
Mediation is an informal and flexible dispute resolution process. The mediator's role is to guide the parties toward their own resolution. Through joint sessions and separate caucuses with parties, the mediator helps both sides define the issues clearly, understand each other's position and move closer to resolution.
In this process there are four key points: (1) separate the people from the problem (2) focus on interests and not positions (3) create a variety of possibilities before negotiation or deciding what to do (4) focus on objective standards. The topic of every negotiation is different.
|Basis for Comparison||Negotiation||Mediation|
|Settlement||Parties themselves reach an agreement.||The mediator proposes a solution, to resolve the issues of the parties concerned.|
|Outcome||Depends on the relationship between the group.||Controlled by the parties concerned|
What is the difference between a mediator and an arbitrator?
Arbitrator listens to facts and evidence and renders an award. Mediator helps the parties define and understand the issues and each side's interests. Parties present case, testify under oath. Parties vent feelings, tell story, engage in creative problem-solving.
When advocating, you are usually trying to convince the other party of the merits of your position. However in a negotiation all parties have a stake in the matter and are generally trying to work toward a mutually beneficial agreement.
What is Conciliation? Conciliation shares some features of mediation in that it is a more informal, more affordable and more efficient process than going to court. Like mediation, a qualified and neutral professional also facilitates negotiations between those in dispute to help them achieve a resolution.