Comments: Mediation Styles: The Purists vs. The “Toolkit”

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Jon , Warren NJ     06/03/05
Thank you. I wish that would post the date on each article, I believe they now do. I believe this article was written sometime in 2001. Let's say, September 2001. The Author

Stacy , Monrovia CA   06/02/05
Please post your dates on your articles. Thanks! It helps with citations.

Jon , Warren NJ   06/28/04
Response To Deborah O.
I thank Deborah for making the points that she does, and recommend that anyone who wishes to really start to understand the challenge mediators and "conflict resolutionists" currently face in defining what they do and how they do it and whether it is worthwhile or not, should read Bernard Mayer's new book, "Beyond Neutrality" which goes a long way to framing the questions that are needed to answer the basic problem that Deborah brought up. These "styles" are not names I made up, they are names that authors on mediation made up, to distinguished their type of mediation. Most mediators do what Deborah and I do, which is mix and match styles and tools. Some are actually pedantic enough to state that some "TYPE or STYLE" is the correct style. This is what I disagree with. Thank you, J. Linden

Jon , Warren NJ   06/28/04
Mediators As Teachers
As the author, I disagree, that mediators cannot teach, in fact, I do it all the time, whether as a mediator, or as a mediation or HR trainer. However, this article was specifically meant to address the fact that there are many styles of "mediating disputes" espoused in the literature. This article basically says, they are all right, and they are all wrong. The right thing to do is the thing that works best with the people and the issues in the room at any given moment. Not the mediator's STYLE. And anyone who advocates that one style or another in the pure form is the right way to mediate anything, is incorrect. Mediation is at least as much an art as it is a science. It all depends on the interplay between the disputants, as facilitated by the mediator in an attempt to reach a "mutually acceptable agreement."

Bob  De Rycke, louisville tn     06/28/04
mediation styles
Mediators cannot help "teaching" through their approach. People who come to mediators for assistance may very well want to learn how to avoid disputes in the future. All four styles help the disputants become aware of their contribution to the "misunderstanding. I especially value Stone et al.'s Difficult Conversations. How to discuss what Matters most. as being of capital help.

Susan Oberman, Charlottesville VA     06/28/04
Mediation Models
I appreciated seeing that Jon Linden is also paying attention to the need for mediators to define what we are actually doing, at the same time using a range of skills and tools. However, the research shows that mediators in fact, do primarily the same thing in all mediations. The reason for this according the scholars is that we base our practice on a theory of conflict, unfortunately often unconsciously. My disagreements are with Jon's categories, which continue to perpetuate the confusion. In my research I have found one person who clarifies the real differences in mediation models in an inclusive way. See Ellen A. Waldman's article on Identifying The Role of Social Norms in Mediation: A Multiple Model Approach," 48 HASTINGS L.J., No. 4, April 1997, 703-769. I am happy to send anyone a brief synopsis of the problems we are dealing with currently, which I have recently compiled, in defining mediation. Based on an overview of some of the top scholars in the field, these problems include that: ethnicity and gender of mediators is shown to influence outcomes, the relationship of mediation to the courts, the lack of a theoretical basis for mediation, and lack of clarity in mediation trainings regarding different ADR processes and what skills are unique to mediation.

Mark , Eureka CA   06/28/04
Thanks for the brief and clear summary.

Jon , Warren NJ   04/29/04
Date Of Article
I think the date the article went up on was around Dec, 2002. Thank you, the author

Paulette , Austin TX   04/28/04
Please provide date of this article - I also need for class project; thanks much!

Kristina    10/15/03
I would like to know the date of this article as I need to reference it for a paper I am writing.