I agree that advocates must be much more strategic in choosing which mediation approach best suits the dispute and the parties' needs and interests. My main concern here is that when parties "get stuck," many facilitative mediators "switch hats" without warning and turn the mediation into an evaluative mediation by giving their opinion about strengths/weaknesses or settlement options. If the parties do this with full knowledge and consent, that is their choice, but if the mediator simply initiates it on his/her own "mid-stream" as a way to break impasse or generate movement, it takes away the parties' self-determination and gives the air of partiality.
John , Brisbane 10/27/11
There are many different models of evaluative mediation and of ENE. Some of these overlap completely and at those points the two names are used interchangeably.
In some places, the terminology has been distinguished by suggesting that certain models of ENE do not attempt any negotiation/mediation first. Ultimately, the terminology does not matter as long as clients and providers are very clear what is being offered.
For helpful attempts to clarify terminology in one jurisdiction, see NADRAC paper on Terminology in DR published about 10 years ago.
Ellen , Pittsburgh 10/27/11
I am interested in understanding how, from your perspective, Evaluative Mediation differs from Early Neutral Evaluation.
Nina , Bainbridge Island Wa 10/26/11
John is always thoughtful, incisive, and balanced in his discussions. Understanding that there are both pros and cons in the evaluative process is essential for all mediators - for those who utilize the evaluative model and those who do not. The use of the evaluative model should be a strategic, mindful decision - not because it is a matter of "style."