Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between an Arbitrator and a Mediator

shaking-handsArbitrator vs Mediator
In a world of never ending conflicts and controversies efficient intermediaries have become highly essential today. Mediators and arbitrators are two of the kind. Being very similar in their work they are often assumed by a lot of people as being two different names for one person. The truth is that even though both of them contribute towards solving issues, they are not exactly the same. A mediator acts as a medium of resolving conflicts between two parties at a difference. An arbitrator, on the other hand, does a similar job of deciding over a dispute or settling variances between parties. This article highlights the areas where an arbitrator differs from a mediator.

A mediator can be differentiated from an arbitrator on the basis of discussion of issue and decision making process. The job of a mediator when involved in a conflict is basically initiating and helping a discussion progress between the two parties. A mediator helps the parties in figuring out their way to the solution of the problem, thus promoting or encouraging discussions and talks between the parties involved. An arbitrator, in this scenario would listen to what the parties have to say. He / she will never be the one initiating or encouraging a discussion.

Another area which marks a difference between the two is the decision making. Whereas a mediator never makes the decision for the parties, an arbitrator has the right to decide and conclude the situation by making a necessary decision. However the decision made is solely based on the arguments and discussions produced by both the sides.
Arbitrator turns out to be beneficial if the parties are hoping for a conclusive discussion and want someone to take the decision on their behalf. The problem here is that the arbitrators have higher risks of making a ‘not so accurate’ judgment as they themselves are not the ones involved directly in the issue. Contradictory to that, a mediator by not offering any decision making options leaves the final verdict completely in the hands of the two parties, thus staying on the safer side.

On a whole, both arbitrator and mediator have important roles when it comes to clearing conflicts. As long as issues are resolved, their work is done.

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