A mediator is a neutral (as to the participants) and impartial (as to the outcome) facilitator. Mediators have no decision-making authority. The mediator creates an environment for collaboration, communication, and problem solving; provides analysis, information, and options; and facilitates discussions between the parties in order to help them identify, define, and re-frame their needs and issues.
The mediator may use a combination of joint and individual conferences. Occasionally the mediator may make suggestions, ultimately however the parties make the final decisions. Once a resolution is reached the mediator puts the parties’ agreement into writing.