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In Mediation


Center for Empathy in International Affairs
Matt Waldman
empathy for international mediation

Dorothy Della Noce

1999-July - Seeing Theory in Practice: An Analysis of Empathy in Mediation
"Bush and Folger (1994) in The Promise of Mediation articulated distinctions between Individualist and Relational ideology, and linked them to specific theoretical orientations to mediation practice, problem-solving and transformative, respectively. Yet, a question persists as to whether these distinctions produce any material differences in practice. This question is approached here through an examination of a single construct in the mediation literature, empathy. The author proposes that the Individualist and Relational ideological frameworks have material implications for the concept and the practice of fostering empathy between the parties to a mediation: The problem-solving framework fosters a social interaction which can be understood as transactional empathy while the transformative framework fosters an interaction described as relational empathy."

New Insights on Empathy in Intergroup Conflict
March 20, 2015 by Dorothy J. Della Noce

"After spending most of my professional life in the conflict resolution field, I have to admit to experiencing a growing frustration with the state of the field in recent years. There have been times when I have felt that various parts of the field were stuck in their own ideologies, with the result that some interventions seemed to be based on little more than assumptions, research on efficacy of interventions was slow to accumulate, and mythology was revered while research results were ignored.

Transformative Mediation By Brad Spangler
"In their 2004 publication, The Promise of Mediation, Robert A. Baruch Bush and Joseph Folger explicitly outlined a framework for the practice of transformative mediation. Although practitioners had already touched on the possibilities of mediation in this realm, Baruch Bush and Folger's work defined transformative mediation, in contrast to the dominant orientation of problem-solving mediation. Problem-solving mediation is aimed at resolving specific disputes between parties and coming up with a mutually acceptable solution to the immediate, short-term problem. In problem-solving mediation, the mediator normally plays a very active role in guiding the process."

February 2009 - Communication Insight - Empathy, Apology and Forgiveness
"Takaku’s research offers important insights on how apologies “work.” Mutual empathy is key. While the offer of an apology may be the result of, and an expression of, the offender’s empathy with the offended party, forgiveness requires empathy from the offended to the offender. Empathy must be experienced by, and communicated by, both parties to the conflict, not simply one or the other. In other words, to be effective in resolving conflict, apology and forgiveness are best viewed as interactive processes, not simply one-sided speech events.]

July 1999 - Seeing Theory in Practice: An Analysis of Empathy in Mediation -
"Della Noce asks whether and how ideology affects mediator practice. She describes the individualist ideology that supports problem-solving approaches to mediation, and the relational ideology that informs transformative approaches. She then examines how these different ideologies shape mediators understandings of the nature and role of empathy. Case studies indicate that these different understandings yield differences in mediator practice...

Two Dimensional Empathy in Mediation is a must.|
Yasir Hafeez Awan
February 02, 2018

"Place of empathy in mediation is pivotal. As discussed in the above paragraph, it is the mediator who runs the process; it is his responsibility to be an empathetic person. In mediation, concept of empathy is twofold i.e. empathy towards the parties and empathy in the parties inter se. I would like to discuss both these dimensions separately."

Empathy Is the Key to Conflict Resolution or Management
Mark B. Baer
Empathy has been found to undermine biased conflict perceptions.
Feb 28, 2017
"Interestingly enough, the presence of empathy “results in feelings of satisfaction, relief and trust. Furthermore, it supports patients, resulting in new coping strategies. A lack of empathy causes feelings of frustration and disappointment.”

Circling back around to misunderstandings, it’s been found that “egocentrism drives misunderstanding in conflict and negotiation."