Difference Between Moderation and Mediation

Moderation vs Mediation

Moderation is a word that is very commonly used in terms of consumption of alcoholic beverages. It is also a word that reminds us of harmful effects of excess of anything in life. However, there is another meaning of moderation, and that is the role played by the host of any debate or talk show. Many people confuse moderation with mediation because of their similarities. However, it is not dispute resolution that is the aim of moderation, and this will be clear as this article aims to delineate the differences between moderation and mediation.


Moderation refers to avoiding excess in all aspects of life though it is drinking where this word is mostly used. Drink in moderation is what most doctors suggest to their patents as excess consumption of alcohol can lead to many kinds of diseases. However, this article is about moderation that is performed by the host of a planned debate whether in a school or in a Presidential election. Moderator in a debate has to not only look after efficient time management but also communicate in an effective manner. This requires having a basic knowledge of the topic of the debate, as well.

Successful moderation sees to it that petty arguments between participants do not go out of hand and turn into ugly spat. It also means interrupting participants in between to manage the time efficiently. At times, the moderator has to deflect the opinions of the participants and also interrupt in between to keep them on the track so as to not fly away from the topic of the debate. Moderation also means giving participants equal time and opportunity to express their viewpoints.


Mediation is an alternate dispute resolution process that is both money, as well as time saving, for the warring parties. Mediation is done by a neutral third party that aims to resolve the dispute by encouraging the parties in a dispute to come to a negotiation table and reach a solution. Mediators require skills such as patience and a neutral approach towards all parties involved in the dispute. Mediation is an ADR that is being preferred by more and more companies these days to avoid long delays and high costs that are associated with court cases.

Moderation vs Mediation

• Moderation is avoiding anything in excess, in all areas of life while mediation is a dispute resolution mechanism.

• In conventions and debates, moderation means keeping the participants on the topic of debate and managing time between them.

• Moderation also means not allowing the participants to digress from the topic of the debate.

• Moderation requires effective communication skills whereas mediation requires the mediator to encourage parties in a dispute to come to the negotiating table, to find a solution that is mutually acceptable.