Mediation is a process in which a trained neutral facilitator assists the disputing parties in communicating their issues and exploring solutions where each party is present at the table. The mediator does not render a decision or provide any evaluation of the case to the parties.
In some cases, it is difficult to get both parties to the table. This coaching process allows the trained facilitator to mentor one party providing direction in resolving a conflict. The facilitator will ask questions and provide assistance as to questions to be asked, alternatives to be explored and suggested actions. Keep in mind that the facilitator provides this assistance with information provided by the single party.
In some circles, conciliation would be mean reconciliation. Actually, any agreement reached does provide reconciliation of the parties. Here, conciliation is a process used by a trained mediator whereby each party is contacted independently. The trained facilitator will use the the steps as outlined in the mediation process to obtain information and explore solutions. In more simple terms, the mediator will act as "go between" two parties that will not meet face-to-face at the mediation table.