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Just My Style: The Practical, Ethical, and Empirical Dangers of the Lack of Consensus about Definitions of Mediation Styles



Lorig Charkoudian, Community Mediation Maryland, 310 Tulip Ave., Maryland, Takoma Park, MD 20912, United States; e-mail:


This article reviews the importance of research and understanding of mediation styles on quality assurance, ethical practice, and accuracy of research. Three studies are reviewed. One finds that while there are patterns of stylistic practice in mediation, there is no agreement on the definitions for different styles. The second finds that mediators tend to practice in either a directive or a reflective style within a given mediation, rather than using a mix of strategies. The final study highlights how different mediator strategies affect participant satisfaction with the process. Implications for practice and future research are discussed.