Validating and empathizing
During this process, the parties may hear things that they have not heard before, things that broaden their understanding of how the other party perceives the problem.This can open minds and create a receptivity to new ideas that might lead to a settlement. In creating a trusting environment, it is the mediator's hope that some strands of trust will begin to connect the parties and replace the negative emotions that they brought to the table.After weeks of protest activity, the parties agreed to mediation.In the end, the public officials prevailed and the aggrieved community got little relief.
Without that, mediation is not going to work." George Williams, who was a volunteer mediator at Chicago 's Center for Conflict Resolution after he retired as president of American University, recalled an incident in an entirely different type of dispute in the mid-1980s.Once he recognized the problem, a solution to that part of the conflict was only a step away.Ferrell seeks clues that the parties will respond to each other with some measure of empathy before bringing them to the table.The mediator demonstrates objectivity and fairness by remaining non-judgmental throughout the negotiation, giving the parties equal time and attention and as much time as each needs to express themselves.
Parties to volatile conflicts often feel that nobody on the other side is interested in what they have to say.The response is an integral part of the listening process and can be critical to the success of a negotiation or mediation. 'You were the only one who cared about what we were saying.'"Though useful for everyone involved in a conflict, the ability and willingness to listen with empathy is often what sets the mediator apart from others involved in the conflict. Community Relations Service, recalls a highly charged community race-related conflict he responded to more than 30 years ago when he was a mediator in the agency's Mid-Atlantic office.