A mediator who uses an evaluative approach is likely to be appreciated for his/her no-nonsense style. Evaluative mediators work quickly and efficiently to get to the point, and write up a solution. They are more likely to weigh in on options and make recommendations based on their experience. Evaluative mediators are especially useful when time is short and the problem is relatively concrete, when it seems likely that the case may otherwise end up in court, or when the parties want recommendations from a neutral party.
A mediator with a transformative approach is likely to be appreciated for the time and space that he/she creates for all sides to really hear and understand one another. Transformative mediators may create more space for emotions to be expressed through the process and to help support emotional healing along with the solution. Transformative mediators are especially useful when conflicts are tied to more deeply personal issues including identities and relationships and when parties are seeking empowerment and recognition.
In between these two ends of the mediation style spectrum are facilitative mediators. This is the style of mediation that may be most familiar to people. Facilitative mediators are appreciated for the ways they adapt based on the parties’ dynamic needs. They may use techniques from both evaluative and transformative appoaches. Using a facilitative style, a mediator asks questions, normalizes perspectives, and validates both parties’ points of view.