Difference Between Negotiation and Mediation

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: June 03, 2023


Difference Between Negotiation and Mediation

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Disputes and conflicts are common in an individual’s life. The disagreements can be short and sometimes they may get extended up to some extreme level. Many times people may have to seek consideration from the court. The parties to a disagreement frequently try to settle outside of court utilizing Alternative disagreement Resolution (ADR) techniques that are not only efficient but also reasonably priced. Mediation is one such approach. It is an aided negotiation when a mediator is appointed by the parties to hear both sides out and help them come to a better conclusion.

Conversely, negotiation is a process in which parties with opposing interests meet to talk and choose a course of action for managing and resolving the conflict. We will be discussing the conflicts or differences between negotiation and mediation.

Negotiation vs Mediation

Negotiation and mediation are two opposite ways of resolving a conflict. Most of the time, the process of negotiation is faster than mediation. There is no need for planning or a certain location. The mediator will need summaries of the dispute and supporting information, and the location and support facilities will need to be set up before the mediation may begin. In contrast, negotiation can take place anywhere and at any time. It may even be conducted over the phone or through email. Additionally, negotiations can often be resolved with just a few conversations or meetings, whereas mediation may require several sessions before a resolution is reached. However, it's important to note that mediation can be more effective in resolving deeply rooted conflicts and can lead to a more mutually beneficial solution for all parties involved. The parties to the dispute have authority over the mediation's outcome in the mediation. The parties are typically third parties who have been appointed specifically to help resolve the dispute. However, in a negotiation, the result depends on how well the participants get along. In mediation, the mediator's role is not just to facilitate communication but also to guide the parties toward a mutually acceptable resolution, whereas, in a negotiation, the parties may prioritize their interests over reaching a compromise while the settlement of the disputes.

Difference between Negotiation and Mediation in tabular form

Parameters of comparisonNegotiationMediation
MeaningA negotiation is referred to the process through which people tend to come to acceptable terms for both parties. Mediation is referred to as a process through which people reach a final decision with the involvement of a neutral person or a party.
RepresentationThe issue is represented by both the parties themselves.The issue or topic of discussion is represented by a third party or a mediator.
Involvement of the third partyIn negotiation, there is no involvement of third party. People mutually agree upon a decision through the cooperation of one another.Mediation involves the involvement of a mediator or usually known as the mediator. With the help of the mediator, one concludes.
Consequences or the result The result is based on the facts and discussion of both the parties.The consequences are the outcomes of the discussion or the results given by the mediator.
Time involvedThe negotiation is quicker as the time taken for negotiation is not long.The mediation is a time-consuming process as the proper time is required for the preparation.

What is Negotiation?

Conflicts and disputes can arise anywhere and at any time. People tend to resolve these conflicts in many possible ways. One such way is “Negotiation”. People resolve their conflicts through negotiation. It is a method for coming to a compromise or an agreement without conflict or controversy. Humans negotiate nearly continuously throughout their lives, from the initial stirrings of communication with their parents to the entire range of contacts with other humans for the rest of their lives. Negotiation is a procedure that two or more persons engage in as they comprehend that communication is required to reach an agreement on an issue of mutual interest. To resolve any conflict, negotiation should always come first. The vast majority of problems may be resolved by using this self-help technique because it is quick, affordable, and adaptable.

 As a result, negotiating is a talent that every human should be able to use to effectively interact with and establish agreements with others. It is a give-and-take procedure in which both parties attempt to identify common ground and work towards a solution that benefits all parties concerned. Negotiation is essential in both personal and professional settings for creating relationships and attaining goals. A corporate transaction involving two organizations, for example, necessitates negotiation abilities to reach a mutually advantageous arrangement. Each side must comprehend the other's requirements and objectives to reach a mutually satisfying agreement. To establish an agreement, the negotiators must be adept in communication, active listening, and critical thinking.

Further, we will discuss the process of negotiation

Negotiation process


There are a few questions you should ask yourself before entering into talks for the negotiation. These consist of:

  • Ideally, what do you want to gain?
  • What are your reasonable goals?
  • What sort of concessions are you ready to make?
  • What occurs if your ultimate objective is not attained?

Getting Ready for Negotiations

Both parties prepare the numerous subjects that will be covered during negotiation at this point, and representatives are chosen to carry out the negotiations. Some agreements necessitate the involvement of a competent negotiator, such as a professional advocate, a real estate agent or broker, or an attorney.


You're prepared to start negotiating now that both parties have presented their cases. A main negotiator is chosen to present the topic at hand for this reason.

Listening to the other side out and not dismissing or arguing with them is a crucial element of this phase. A hostile relationship is likely to be less productive than a collegial one since successful bargaining needs some give and take on both sides.

Additionally, keep in mind that negotiation may take some time, so try not to rush things or let yourself be pressured.

Finalizing the Deal

It's time to wrap up the negotiations shortly after both sides are pleased with the outcome. A verbal agreement or a formal contract could be used in the following stage. In most cases, the latter is preferable because it explains each party's stance in detail and may be enforced if one side doesn't uphold their end of the contract.

Negotiation can result in three outcomes:

1. Win-lose - When one party wins while the other loses.

2. Win-win - The conclusion is advantageous to both parties.

3. Inefficient but equitable - The result in which all products are shared equally by both parties.

What is Mediation?

Mediation means to mediate or meddle between something. In this case, it can be meddling between industrial or organizational disputes. An informal system for resolving workplace disputes is mediation. In this approach, the disputing parties engage the assistance of a free-from-bias, impartial third party to assist them obtain an amicable compromise. Overall, mediation can be a useful tool for settling office conflicts in a way that is just and equitable for all parties concerned. The disagreeing parties can cooperate to find a solution that satisfies everyone's needs by including an impartial third party, thereby avoiding the need for more formal and perhaps expensive judicial actions. While mediation may not be the best course of action in every circumstance, it is unquestionably an option to take into consideration as a starting point for resolving disputes at work. For example, if two employees dispute how their workload should be distributed, they can use mediation to discover a solution that works for both of them. The mediator can assist them in identifying their underlying interests and requirements, as well as guide a debate that results in a compromise that benefits everyone concerned.

We are using the term “mediator” often so we should have a clear concept regarding a mediator which is as follows:

A mediator, as the name suggests, is a skilled and experienced third party who is employed to resolve disputes. He or she must be honest, independent, and objective.

A mediator's position is more akin to that of a counselor to the parties. This means that a mediator does not make decisions; rather, he supports the parties in reaching an agreement by listening to the issue, providing alternatives, talking with, and persuading the parties.

Mediation process

A mediation process follows various steps which have been discussed below follows:

Selection of a mediator

An unbiased person is selected as a mediator for carrying out the mediation procedures. The person is free from biases and gives a fair and accepting decision to all.

Opening statements of the parties

The parties appearing for the mediation procedures must have their opening statements ready with them. The parties to the conflict will describe the matter from their point of view, as well as their interest in and perception of the matter, in the opening statement.

Establishment of the agenda

The mediator then establishes the order in which the dialogue will continue so that the parties can gauge their progress. This is known as setting the agenda. As a result, it will allow parties to assess their development.

Exploration of Issues

The mediator assists the parties in focusing on the issues and examining them more thoroughly to consider potential resolutions after the sequence has been laid out.


Likewise known as a private session. Parties have a chance to present their arguments to the mediator individually and independently at this point. Information provided by one party to another during the mediation cannot be revealed by the mediator.

Joint meeting

After the private conversation is finished, a joint session will start to help the parties agree by offering them an alternative course of action.

To avoid impasse situations, a private conversation may be held if the parties are unable to agree.


When all parties accept the recommended course of action, the disagreement is resolved because everyone agrees on agreement with each other's terms.

Differences between Negotiation and Mediation in points

  • negotiation is a method of settling disputes or revolts by the parties themselves. On the other side, mediation involves the involvement of a third party or specially assigned professionals for the settlement of the conflicts.
  • Direct negotiation, which is relatively quick and simple to conduct, is less cumbersome and time-consuming than mediation, especially when various caucuses are involved.
  • When negotiating, interests are represented either by the party members directly or by the representatives they have chosen. On the other hand, a mediator represents the interests of the parties involved in mediation.
  • The parties possess complete and total authority throughout the negotiation. Nevertheless, Parties during mediation have considerable control over the mediation process, though not the entire power.
  • In a negotiation, the result is determined by the relationship between the parties. In mediation, on the other hand, the parties to the conflict control the outcome.
  • The outcome attained after the discussion of a negotiation can be altered and is voluntarily appointed by both parties. In mediation, the result determined by the third party is accepted by both parties and applies to all the members of the party.


In light of everything,  that has been discussed so far a conclusion can be drawn that mediation and negotiation are the important aspects of resolving the matter effectively. Mediation is a procedure in which the parties collaborate to reach an agreement that benefits everyone involved. Mediation, as opposed to bargaining, is focused on finding a solution that works for everyone concerned. The mediator serves as a neutral third party, facilitating communication and guiding the parties to a conclusion. The parties can get a greater knowledge of each other's needs and interests through mediation, which can lead to a more successful and long-term solution. 

As a result, mediation can be a more effective method of resolving issues because it enables a collaborative and mutually beneficial solution to be established. It also encourages communication and understanding between the partners, which can help to enhance their relationship in the long run. However, in other circumstances, discussion may still be required, particularly when one party has more power or resources than the other. Finally, the choice between negotiation and mediation is determined by the individual circumstances of the issue as well as the aims of the parties involved.



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"Difference Between Negotiation and Mediation." Diffzy.com, 2024. Mon. 17 Jun. 2024. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-negotiation-and-mediation>.

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