Arbitration vs Mediation vs Conciliation: Differences, Pros and Cons, Applications

Arbitration, mediation, and conciliation are popular forms of dispute resolution that offer interesting and diverse career opportunities.

People pursue alternative dispute resolution (ADR) training and accreditation for a number of reasons. Some aspire to become professional mediators or arbitrators. Others are simply looking to handle conflict better in their personal relationships or workplace.

It’s certainly an industry in demand. From business disputes to divorce settlements, people are turning to ADR as a more flexible, less costly, and more time-effective means of resolving conflicts.

Arbitration, mediation, and conciliation offer three different approaches to conflict resolution. They differ in terms of procedure and outcomes, as well as training and accreditation.

In this post, we guide you through clear definitions of arbitration versus mediation and conciliation, including applications along with pros and cons. Let's get started.

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Pre-mediation: What It Is and Why It’s Important

Mediation has become an increasingly popular option for settling family disputes in Ontario. It’s typically quicker, more cost-effective, and less adversarial than going to court.

Mediators need to prepare and support their clients to make sure each party can participate fully. They need to be alert to anything that can adversely affect a client's ability to engage in the process, such as mental health issues or family violence.

That's why they meet with each party beforehand to understand the factors involved. This is known as pre-mediation, or "screening in."

Thinking about a career in mediation? Keep reading to learn what the intake process involves and why it’s so important.

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Family Mediator Skills & Qualifications: What You Need to Succeed

Updated December 2023

Are you interested in helping Ontario families work through their differences without going to court?

Family mediators play an important role in helping people navigate the end of a relationship. They help families work through disputes related to separation, divorce, child custody, and more—all while avoiding a costly, drawn-out litigation process.

But if you’re looking to specialize in family mediation, you may be wondering what it takes to get your career off the ground.

We combed through job postings and spoke to industry experts to find out what skills and qualifications are required to thrive as a family mediator.

Here’s what you typically need to have.

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Cultivating Rapport With Mediation Clients: 4 Common Pitfalls to Avoid

Updated January 2023

It's quite possible that opposing parties of a mediation will not trust each other. Whatever issue has brought them to this process, you can assume both sides are feeling anxious and have their walls up.

This is why it's so crucial that all participants be able to trust you, the mediator. You are the one objective individual at the negotiation table—the stable centre in the midst of all those swirling emotions, expectations, and uncertainty.

From the very first point of contact until the issue at hand has been resolved, the mediator must earn and maintain the trust of his or her clients. One of the key ways mediators accomplish this is by cultivating rapport, putting participants at ease, and establishing an atmosphere of cooperation.

But in their eagerness to build rapport, mediators sometimes stumble into traps. Take a look at four common mistakes to avoid when you're seeking to connect with your clients.

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Workplace Conflict Resolution: 7 Clear Steps to Resolve Disputes

Updated January 2023

When people spend a significant amount of time together, conflicts are sure to arise. And when you add the pressures and stresses of the workplace, disputes become not only inevitable, but costly.

A global study from 2008 found that on average, employees spend roughly 2.1 hours each week dealing with conflicts at work. That equates to approximately one day each month in lost productivity.

The study also found that letting such disputes go unaddressed can lead to personal attacks, physical sicknesses, and project failures.

That's why workplace conflict resolution is a key area for mediation. A growing number of business leaders are using mediation to resolve corporate conflicts and restore harmony at the office.

Whether you’re an aspiring mediator, HR professional, or business manager, there are proven mediation techniques you can use to defuse conflicts and build a healthier work environment.

Start by following these seven key steps.

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5 Good Reasons to Become a Mediator (& How to Get Started)

Updated January 2023

People come to the practice of mediation from all walks of life and professional backgrounds.

It's not just lawyers who become mediators. Anyone with an interest in alternative dispute resolution, strong communication skills, and sharp problem-solving abilities can excel in this career.

Considering this path?

In this post, we're exploring some of the best reasons to become a mediator. These are the most common motivators for the students we work with in mediation training—and a good introduction to what the field is all about.

At the end of the post, we've included some information on how to earn a professional mediator designation, and key things to know about the training process. Let's get started!

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What Exactly Do You Learn in Family Mediation Training?

Family mediation training focuses on giving students the tools to help families settle disputes without going through litigation.

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What is a Family Mediator? Inside Look at the Role & Process

Updated December 2022

A family mediator is a neutral third party who helps families resolve disputes outside of court.

Mediators facilitate discussions between opposing parties and ensure that everyone is able to air their concerns and perspectives.

The goal is to help all parties come to a mutually acceptable solution.

But what does that actually involve? What are the specific functions of a family mediator?

Keep reading to get an inside look at the tasks and responsibilities of this career.

Learn what the role of a family mediator is all about and see if it’s right for you.

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Is There Demand for Mediators in Canada?

Updated January 2024

Interested in helping people resolve disputes outside of court? Curious about what the job market is like for mediators in Canada?

Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) has become increasingly popular across the country over the past few years, and mediation is an important part of that process. Provinces like Ontario and Alberta have even made mediation mandatory in certain situations.

Even still, it’s not easy to find hard data on the demand for mediators in Canada.

We dug into the growing movement toward ADR and what it means for people looking to become mediators in this country.

Here’s what you need to know.

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Family Mediator Careers: Explore Practice Areas & Specializations

Updated February 2024

Family mediators help families settle conflicts and disagreements without going to court.

Mediators do not take sides or make decisions. Instead, they help each party understand the other's concerns, explore options, and agree on solutions.

Family mediators are often called in when a couple decides to end their relationship. They help the ex-partners work out arrangements regarding children, property, and finances.

But while divorce is a common family mediator practice area, it's not the only one. In fact, a variety of specializations exist within the field.

In this post, we explore four major practice areas in family mediation—and some helpful information on getting started in this career.

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