The behavior of the mediator is situational. That is, s/he not only uses specific strategies that are appropriate to each situation during the mediation, s/he also behaves differently depending on the overall dynamics of the parties. If both parties are equally powerful and competitive, the mediator tends to be more controlling and engage in direct control activities that are not explained to the parties. If the parties appear to be fragile and/or depressed, the mediator will be less controlling, seek to gain their permission for strategies to empower them, and move more slowly through the process.
John M. Haynes,
Mediating with a Powerful/Competitive Couple: Michael and Debbie,
1987 J. Disp. Resol.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.missouri.edu/jdr/vol1987/iss/5