Empathic Listening

 

Long a neglected skill, many of our respondents stressed the very critical role of listening for both disputants and third party intermediaries.

Disputants' Listening

Disputants seldom listen to each other, until they get into a mediation or dialogue process. Once they do, conflict transformation is often the result.

Morton Deutsch explains how listening to the other can actually allow people to see that "non-negotiable" differences can actually be resolved in a mutually satisfactory way.
Robert Stains discusses the power of storytelling and dialogue and the key role of listening.
Elise Boulding discusses networking and listening.
Elise Boulding explains that women have a special role in peacekeeping because they are "listeners."
Julia Chaitin says, listening to "the others'" stories can be difficult, but valuable.

Third Party Listening

Empathic listening is also key to most third party intervention, be it mediation or facilitation of dialogues, consensus-building processes, or problem solving workshops, as these comments illustrate.

Frank Dukes talks about the profound impact of listening.
Silke Hansen suggests that effective listening on the part of mediators is critical.
Mediator and scholar Marcia Caton Campbell says the two most critical things you can learn are how to listen and how to "shut-up."
What's the most important skill conflict intervenors can have? Listening, according to Paul Wehr.