An Approach to High Conflict People/Martin Rosenfeld

Posted on July 24, 2011

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Bill Eddy is an attorney, mediator, and therapist. In July’s edition of mediate.com,Attorney Eddy explains how to deal with High Conflict People by a method called E.A.R. We can ca;m people’s upsetedness by showing Empathy, Attention, and Respect. Working with the self-evident proposition that High Conflict People get upset rather easily, Attorney Eddy lays out a three-step approach to working with such people:
Empathy is not the same as sympathy. Sympathy might exhibit signs of superiority. “Poor soul” might be the reaction of the sympathiser. One who can empathise can feel the frustration and even the pain of the other party. By empathizing, we treat people as a peer. People need to be heard and empathy is one way to show that we are internalizing their message.
Attention is the human’s way of saying “Tell me more”. Listening can be shown by coimments we make or by body language. A therapist once told me that therapy works best when the client feeld he can tell his story and it will be heard. Listening is ap owerful tool. Eye contact is necessary to convey this process.
Respect-People in distress crave respect. Every person has something we can respect. Find it and accentuate your feelings of respect.
High Conflict people are often shunned. EAR gets them what they want and what they need. You help High Conflict people by EAR and thereby help yourself. EAR is worth the effort and it might succeed beyond your wildest expectations.

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