Distinguishing Conciliation from Mediation

Conciliation vs Mediation

In modern societies, various methods are used for conflict and dispute resolution. In the past, physical combat was often the only way to settle disputes, but the advent of law courts and judiciaries has led to the development of many amicable conflict resolution methods. These methods aim to produce a decision or solution that is acceptable to all parties involved, whether they are individuals, families, companies, organizations, or even governments. Conciliation and mediation are two such dispute resolution methods, and their similarities can be confusing. This article explores the differences between these two mechanisms to help readers choose the most appropriate one when needed.


Conciliation is a dispute resolution mechanism that falls under the category of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods. As the name suggests, the disputing parties are encouraged to arrive at an amicable solution acceptable to both of them with the help of an official called a conciliator. Today, people have realized that taking a dispute to court can incur significant expenses in terms of court fees and attorney fees. Moreover, contesting a dispute in court can be time-consuming. Conciliation addresses these issues by improving communication and lowering tensions among the parties in a dispute, thereby facilitating an out-of-court settlement.

It is important to note that conciliation as an ADR method has no legal standing, and the conciliator does not award decisions in favor of either party. However, the conciliator is an expert in guiding the disputing parties towards a settlement.


Mediation is another alternative dispute resolution mechanism commonly used by parties involved in a conflict. Mediation is a process that involves the services of a neutral third party to help disputing parties arrive at an amicable and acceptable solution. Mediation can be facilitative or evaluative, but it is not a mechanism where the mediator can make a decision on their own accord.

A mediator facilitates dialogue between disputing parties so that they can reach an amicable solution themselves. The mediator helps the parties to see their own interests and needs more clearly, making them realize the futility of taking the dispute to court. Although the mediator does not impose their will, they use negotiation and communication techniques to help the parties reach a peaceful resolution.

Key Takeaways

  • While both conciliation and mediation seem similar, conciliation is generally considered a more formal dispute resolution mechanism.
  • Conciliators are often seen as having more power than mediators, who primarily serve as a go-between for disputing parties.
  • Conciliators typically have expertise in the field in which they are attempting to resolve a dispute, whereas mediators are experts in communication and negotiation techniques to help parties reach an amicable solution.
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


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