Mediation is one of the alternatives to going to court to settle legal disputes, and the most popular form. Generically it is a form of ADR, that is, Alternative Dispute Resolution. With the kind Chris offers (again the most popular), facilitative, the mediator facilitates the settlement of the dispute, by carefully listening to both parties, by suggesting where they have common ground, and by gradually drawing them together and helping them to settle their differences.
The mediator is not a judge or an arbitrator; he gives no advice and makes no decisions. Instead, he helps the parties to reach an agreement they can live with.
Exceptionally, and only with the agreement of all concerned, Chris may act as an evaluative mediator. He will be asked the value of the claim in his opinion; say, the value of the shares in a company dispute. Indeed, he has even been known to value a company during a mediation.
It is important to understand the sensitive nature of mediation and the volatility of the parties involved. They are most likely going through a very stressful time in their lives so instead of having to drag both parties into court to settle issues it is best to keep the dialogue open via mediation.
This is why mediation is something that should be given serious consideration, to help make dispute resolution an easier, less stressful experience for all parties involved.