The World of Mediation - A Spectrum of Styles - Dispute Resolution Journal - Vol. 51, No. 4
Robin N. Amadei is the owner of Common Ground Mediation Center, a dispute resolution practice in Boulder, Colorado. She has been mediating cases in the business, family, real estate, community education and employment sectors since 1990. She is an adjunct professor at the University of Denver, and a member of the mediation and arbitration panels of the AAA.
Lillian S. Lehrburger is a mediator and an attorney in Denver, Colorado. She has negotiated and mediated numerous disputes, including family, business, real estate and neighborhood conflicts. She is also active in conducting mediation and communication training for businesses and organizations. She is on the panel of arbitrators of the AAA.
Originally from Dispute Resolution Journal
Mediators use a broad range of styles, techniques and approaches, depending on their outlook, background, training and experience, as well as the type of cases they have before them. This article clarifies some of the differences in these styles, putting at one end of the spectrum a process-centered approach to mediation, and at the other end a substance-oriented approach. After discussing the differences between the two approaches, the authors analyze the spectrum of mediation models.
People involved in disputes can choose from a variety of alternatives to litigation, ranging from informal negotiation to more formal arbitration. This article will focus on mediation, illustrating that this form of ADR encompasses a broad range of styles, techniques and approaches that depend on the mediator’s outlook, background, training and experience as well as the type of case. Generally mediation is defined as “an intervention in dispute negotiations by a trained, neutral third party with the purpose of assisting the parties to reach their own solution.”1