Types of Mediators to Select From

Nancy B. Alston

When consideration mediation, one should consider the type of mediator he or she desire. Additionally, the type and style the mediator normally used during the process should match the personality of the disputing parties. In this regard, there are three basic types of mediators to select from. They are the social network type, the authoritative type, and the independent type mediators. Additionally, one should be careful in making a selection by doing some research if that opportunity is available.

The social network mediator is normally an elder from a town or village. This person could also be a highly respected community leader or tribal chief. There is also the possibility for a clergy person to fit this role. This type of mediator is normally concerned with the future outlook of maintaining the long-term relationship of the parties. One must take into consideration, that if in the minds of the disputing parties the mediator is one who will be neutral, then the mediator is a neutral party. The parties actually select this mediator because they really feel that the mediator can and will be fair.

The next type of mediator is the authoritative mediator. This type of mediator may bring a certain type of behavioral mannerism to the mediation session. He or she is normally well-respected, in the upper ranks of management, and has managerial authority whereby a decision can be made. Additionally, this mediator has influence over the parties and can enforce the agreement once one is drafted. This mediator is capable of disciplining the parties if a decision is not made. He or she also has influence over the outcome. This type of mediator normally work in the same environment or place of employment with the parties; he or she may be the president of a corporation where the parties are employed.

The third type of mediator is the independent type mediator. This mediator is the furthest removed from the situation. Furthermore, he or she will also have the furthest form of neutrality and impartiality from the disputing parties in terms of distancing. This person has no ties with anyone or any organization. This individual mediator has no stake in the outcome; however, he or she is still very much engaged in the negotiation process with the parties to obtain an agreement.

These are the basic three types of mediator to select from. Once again, conducting the applicable research to select the best type to match one’s personality to achieve the most effective and efficient outcome is best.

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