Conciliation and Facilitation (Processes Similar to Mediation)

Often the terms “conciliation” and “facilitation are used synonymously with “mediation”. The three are very similar. The terms are defined below to help you distinguish them one from the others.

CONCILIATION, like mediation, is a process in which a neutral person facilitates an agreement between the parties to a conflict by helping the parties clarify issues and serving as an intermediary for negotiations. However, conciliation is generally less formal and less structured than mediation. Conciliation also differs from mediation in that in conciliation, the parties often are in need of restoring or repairing a relationship, either personal or business.

FACILITATION is a process similar to mediation in which a neutral third party (the “facilitator”) assists the parties explore their differences and have constructive dialogue. The facilitator will help the parties set an agenda and manage discussion between them. Facilitators help the parties understand how their own styles of interacting may interfere in communicating and problem solving. The facilitator promotes understanding between the parties and may propose a series of process steps to keep the parties on track. Unlike the mediator, a facilitator may openly help the parties develop solutions.