As part of a special issue devoted to the subject of mediator style, Dorothy Della Noce has published Mediator style and the question of “good” mediation: A call for theoretical development, in Negotiation and Conflict Management Research, volume 5, issue 4, pages 396-402. Here is an excerpt:
The term “mediator style” implies that there is a behavioral repertoire that hangs together in some coherent way and upon which a mediator draws as he or she engages in interaction with the clients (compare Charkoudian, this issue; Della Noce, 2002). It also implies that there is a group of mediators who share the same behavioral repertoire. What is not explained is how or why certain behaviors might hang together, or the nature of the relationship between the practices of individual mediators and practices across the assumed group of mediators who might share a style. That is, the concept lacks theoretical development. I suggest that the construct of mediator style can be made more robust by adding consideration of mediator goals and values. Mediator goals and values supply some of the missing connections and missing explanations. Goals and values are what bring coherence to the discourse of individual mediators; likewise, shared goals and values are what bring coherence to the discourse of mediators across a group.
The special issue can be accessed here. The issue also features articles by Kenneth Kressel and James Wall (guest editors), E. Patrick McDermott, Lisa Blomgren Bingham, Lorig Charkoudian, Dean G. Pruitt, and Thomas A. Kochan.