The Power of Empathy in Conflict Resolution
During my morning walk I stopped at a neighbor’s home and he began to talk about his wife who had relocated to another city. After being married for more than 20 years, she requested a divorce.
After talking for more than fifteen minutes he showed an incredible lack of empathy towards her post-traumatic stress disorder, a disorder that resulted from childhood trauma. Despite being married for more than 20 years and being fully aware of her trauma; he was having difficulty understanding why she needed to take this journey.
When dealing with a loss, one thing that individuals often do is see themselves as the victim. For example, using “I” words such as “I don’t understand why……….” and “I can’t believe he/ she is acting this way after all we have been through.” One I statement that stood out to me was “I have been good to her and her children…. “
The power of empathy is the key to conflict resolution and understanding another’s needs is the part of the prescription for healing. Listening, non-judgmental thinking, advocating, and walking in the other persons shoes will began the healing process.
When you apply these skills, you learn to see the situation from the other person's perspective. You will begin to feel what the other person is feeling, you become less self-absorbed, as the anxiety and fear of the unknown slowly dissipates.
The power of empathy can be like magic as your level of communication is elevated and
the conflict within you is decreased.
The keys to developing empathy.
1. Listen to the other person’s perspective.
2. Use nonjudgmental thinking.
3. Advocate for the other person’s needs.
4. Walk in their shoes.
Debra Jones Lewis is the Founder & CEO of The Institute of Daily Communication for Families & Individuals (IDCFI). She is a motivational speaker and a certified life coach. She specializes in emotional intelligence, conflict management, and communication. She Facilitates Communication workshops, on Empathy, Anger Management, Conflict resolution, and Elevating one’s conversation to the next level. Lewis is a retired Training Instructor and Sex Offender probation officer with the Florida Department of Corrections. After retirement, Debra was employed as a group therapist and assessment counselor where her vision to create IDCFI began. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org