AskAMediator: What is the difference between the three types of mediation – transformative, facilitative and evaluative?

Great question! The three types of mediation – transformative, facilitative, and evaluative – differ primarily in their focus, approach, and the role of the mediator.

Transformative Mediation:

    1. Focus: Transformative mediation emphasises empowerment and recognition. It focuses on empowering parties to understand each other’s perspectives and to make their own decisions.
    2. Approach: The mediator encourages parties to express themselves and to listen actively to each other. The goal is to transform the relationship between the parties, leading to mutual understanding and acknowledgment.
    3. Role of the Mediator: The mediator’s role is to facilitate communication, foster empowerment, and support parties in recognising their own strengths and needs. The mediator refrains from providing solutions or making recommendations.

Facilitative Mediation:

      • Focus: Facilitative mediation emphasizes communication and problem-solving. It aims to help parties reach a mutually acceptable agreement by facilitating communication and exploration of interests.
      • Approach: The mediator guides parties through the negotiation process, helping them identify their interests, needs, and priorities. The mediator assists in generating options and exploring solutions that meet both parties’ needs.
      • Role of the Mediator: The mediator acts as a neutral facilitator, assisting parties in communicating effectively, identifying issues, and exploring solutions. The mediator does not impose decisions or outcomes but helps parties to reach their own agreements.


Evaluative Mediation:

    • Focus: Evaluative mediation focuses on reaching a settlement based on legal rights and positions. It emphasises the assessment of legal strengths and weaknesses and the evaluation of potential outcomes.
    • Approach: The mediator evaluates the legal merits of each party’s case, offers opinions on the likely outcome if the case were to go to court, and may make recommendations for settlement.
    • Role of the Mediator: The mediator takes a more active role in shaping the outcome by offering legal analysis, making recommendations, and sometimes even suggesting potential settlement terms. The mediator’s expertise in the legal aspects of the dispute is central to the process.

In summary, transformative mediation aims to empower parties and transform their relationship, facilitative mediation focuses on communication and problem-solving to reach a mutually acceptable agreement, and evaluative mediation relies on legal analysis and recommendations to facilitate settlement. Each type of mediation offers distinct benefits and may be more suitable depending on the nature of the dispute and the parties involved.