We have been practising, training and supervising facilitative and transformative mediators for over fifteen years.
One of the key factors in mediation models is the notion of decision making. In facilitative mediation, any decision making is left to those involved, the mediator has no decision making authority. This is based on the belief that the people involved in the situation have the best understanding of what they need for themselves and from each other. Facilitative mediation helps parties in a conflict make their own decisions, in the belief that such decision will have the best fit and therefore be highly sustainable. The mediator offers a structured process for the parties to make best use of in seeking mutually satisfactory solutions. The process consists of private, individual session first before being brought together for a joint session. This approach is ideally suited to relationship situations such as conflicts in the workplace, community, within families or with clients through complaints resolution where a win-win solution is needed in order to maintain and strengthen relationships.
Evaluative mediators are usually legal practitioners, often with an expertise in a particular area of law relevant to the conflict. They will provide the parties with an evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of their case with respect to their legal positions. If asked they may also advise as to a likely outcome at court. They may also offer direction towards settlement options. There is a strong drive towards equitable settlement as an efficient and economic alternative to legal measures. The process consists of opening statements in a joint session and then parties are separated for the day and the majority of work is done in side meetings. This approach is suited to business and contract disputes where there is no ongoing relationship and a compromise is sought. This approach is not suited to relationship issues such as workplace, community and complaints resolution where face to face communication is required and compromise is a limiting goal.
Transformative mediation is a much less structured approach that focuses on two key interpersonal processes – empowerment and recognition. A transformative mediator aims to empower the parties involved to make their own decisions and take their own actions. They also work to foster and develop recognition for and between the parties. This is an organic process and highly responsive to the parties needs. The parties are very much in charge of both the content (the substantive issues) and the process, and the mediator works to support both as their conflict unfolds and their relationship changes and strengthens. For courses in Transformative Mediation training.
Narrative mediation takes a very different stance to conflict. Focusing less on negotiation and more on how people make sense of the world. By telling stories of events and by giving meaning to these events people construct their own reality. People in conflict will tell conflict stories that help them make sense of the situation, the other person and themselves. Conflict stories can be limiting and paralysing. Narrative mediators believe that for every conflict story there is an alternative story that can make co-operation and trust more available. Narrative mediators help parties rewrite new and more constructive stories.
MEDIATION TRAINING & SERVICES: OUR COMMITMENT
Our commitment to facilitative and transformative mediation is based on a view that it takes more than a decision to solve a problem. Often a decision is a very narrow vehicle for problem solving and constricts the range of issues that may be explored and addressed. Facilitative and transformative mediation offer a much deeper and broader approach to problem solving and relationship building.
The market place is very confusing at present with many evaluative mediators claiming to be facilitative or transformative. There are many mediators crossing from one mediation sector to another and causing damage. Mediators speak the same language but practice is very different. We are clear about our approach, the methodology of that approach and the theory and value base which informs it. We want you to be confident and to make the right choice, an informed choice. If we think our model is not the best approach for your situation, we will say so and then point you in the right direction.