Compare and contrast two different helping roles – mediation and advocacy

Compare and contrast two different helping roles – mediation and advocacy.

How do these roles differ? How might they apply to different situations in

everyday life?

Mediation and advocacy are two helping roles which are very useful in the society. These

roles are similar and also different in various ways. Mediation refers to a negotiation process

whereby the parties are assisted to resolve their dispute by an impartial third-party (Mayer,

2010). Mediators facilitate the process of dispute resolution and help individuals to come up with

their own solutions. On the other hand, advocacy is a helping service which is concerned with

ensuring that people, especially the vulnerable members of the society, are able to defend their

rights, voice their opinions on important issues and have them considered during decision

making (Barsky, 2009). This paper discusses the roles of mediation and advocacy and outlines

their differences and similarities in meaning, skills required for each role and their application to

diverse situations.

There are numerous differences between mediation and advocacy. Mediation is one of

the most common techniques of Alternate Dispute Resolution (ADR) that is preferred instead of

settling disputes in court. Mediation is a very effective method of resolving disputes. Since many

disputes arise as a result of poor communication, mediation offers the parties a chance to

communicate better (Spencer & Brogan, 2006). They are able to present their sides of the story

and be heard fully. Then they search for solutions that are mutually satisfactory. The mediator

facilitates the process of resolving the dispute. Civil cases are the most suitable for this conflict

resolution approach (Moore, 2003). On the other hand, advocacy supports people and enables

them to express their concerns, access services and information, defend their rights and explore

available options (Barsky, 2009). Advocacy refers to the process of pleading in favor of a policy,

individual, cause or idea. It involves supporting a cause actively and encouraging other

individuals to support it.


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