Mediation can be between two individuals, two groups, or a combination. When mediating with individuals and groups there are some similarities and some differences. Groups and individuals both share different view points or perspectives. Both individuals and groups can feel more empowered to make their own decisions throughout the process. The mediator in either situation also works the same way, keeping clients on track, safe, and helping them find a workable solution to their problems.
Mediation with groups and individuals also has some differences. There is not as much privacy in a group as with an individual. The size of one group over another can create feelings of unfairness or that one group because of its size will have an advantage. The mediator will also have to deal with several opinions or perspectives on one situation. Individual concerns can also cause the group to move around or become out of focus, the mediator has to be sure to keep them on point. Even though the group may have all agreed to the rules, if there are enough people, it may be hard for them to follow them. The group may even have to resort to an individual method and have a spokesperson speak on their behalf. However, when facing a large issue, for example a corporation, there is strength in numbers. The time it takes an individual to come to a decision may also not compare to the time it takes a group to make a decision. The mediator is still trying to meet several needs in either situation but only suiting them to one person, and in a group the mediator is trying to meet these same needs by suiting them to several people. It can be a real challenge finding a solution in a group if they are not all on the same path at the time of mediation.