Differences between negotiation and mediation

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The differences between negotiation and mediation are numerous. For beginners in mediation, it is important to identify them.

Contents

[edit] Situations Where Negotiation is Possible

Negotiation is obvious:

  • In trade situations;
  • In technical choices.

In this case only, it can be appropriate to establish a reasoned negotiation process and, in anticipation of relational risks, the approach of a contributive negotiation process.

[edit] Situations Where Mediation is Necessary

Mediation:

  • Is necessary as soon as there is tension;
  • Is required in conflictual situations.

In this case, a contributive negotiation approach is often necessary.

[edit] Differences Related to the Role of the Parties

  • In negotiation:
  • Each party represents its interests;
  • The third parties who are representative are there to defend the interests of their proxy.
  • In mediation:
  • Each party states its positions and represents its own interests;
  • The third party mediator is a relational regulator that enables the parties to clarify their position, possibly to make these positions change in order to consider another conception of their interests.

[edit] Differences Related to the Process Itself

  • Negotiation consists in possible approaches centered on interests;
  • Mediation is a process centered on positions.
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