A quarter century ago, Professor Len Riskin published an article describing a grid of mediator orientiations including a facilitative-evaluative dimension. Despite critiques of this framework, including by Len himself, many mediators, trainers, and teachers still use these concepts as mediation models, expressing strong feelings that one model is good and the other is bad.
These models are very misleading because they are based on false assumptions, and they provide counterproductive concepts to guide mediators’ behaviors and set parties’ expectations. This post outlines a unified conceptual framework using clearer, practical concepts and omitting the problematic assumptions. It is an outline that can be elaborated and refined.