David B. Harwi, Esq. and George Reath, Jr., Esq.
No way. It is too touchy-feely! Feelings injected into
the conversation of the dispute act as an impediment
These are common criticisms of mediation by some involved
in the dispute whose interests are not at risk. Are they
resolution possible without considering the feelings of:
the Israelis and Palestinians;
sexually harassed employee;
parents suing the hospital whose negligence resulted
in the death of their child;
college student prevented from studying in her
room by the music of her roommate; or
business owner whose goods were not delivered
within contractual expectations?
are what make each of us unique. They define the way each
of us perceives the world and shapes individual values
priorities. In the microcosm of a dispute feelings of the
disputants will shape their perception of the facts and
define the interests which they want to protect.
Feelings are real. They are part of the facts of the dispute.
The mediation does not have to pander to feelings. However,
for the mediation to be successful feelings need to be explored,
understood and respected. They are the basis of the dispute
and its resolution.
©Triage Mediation Services Inc. 2001
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