Dignified Mediations/Martin Rosenfeld, JD

Posted on October 29, 2017


How can one create dignity in a mediation or negotiation? It is not as hard as one might think. Parties appreciate being treated seriously and with a modicum of respect. Some strategies for conveying respect for an opponent include the following:

*Listen to another party without interruptions and with rapt attention.

*Have a real curiosity about what it is that they are demanding.

*Ask the other party if they would like to present before you do the same.

*Avoid any terms that convey rejection, snap judgment, or disdain.

*Show some empathy to what the other party is saying. The author Mohsin Hamid defined empathy  in the following way : “Empathy is finding echoes of another person in ourself.”

According one dignity is often as elementary as treating another as you would like to be treated in turn. If all else fails, consider how we are treating the North Korean leadership and ask yourself: “Is such behavior or its antithesis more likely to bring us all to a peaceful resolution?” The human condition craves dignity and respect. Be generous in exhibiting such behavior.