Quick Point on Empathy

I've been doing quite a lot of research and training lately on empathy.  

Needless to say, I think it is one of the most important words in existence, and it is even more important to practice it- regardless of your profession. Even the NYPD is teaching empathy in their Smart Policing training for all of their patrol officers (really- see here and here from Commissioner Bratton). 

For conflict resolution professionals, and everyone else working with people involved in conflicts and disputes, here's a short friendly reminder of why empathy is so important:


"Empathy should not be confused with sympathy, 
which indicates pity. 
In crisis intervention, 
the goal is not to feel sorry for the person in crisis, but to 
establish a relationship through effective communication whereby positive steps can be taken toward
resolving the crisis in a collaborative fashion."

from: Vecchi, G.M. (2009). Conflict & crisis communication: the behavioral influence stairway model and suicide intervention. Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association, 12, 32-29.
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How to get what you want: top negotiators on the tricks of their trade

Ayesha Vardag (The Divorce Lawyer)-  Emotions can completely derail any sort of sensible compromise. It’s also common for people to fixate on details. I’ve had people fight over furniture, coffee machines, even ski suits. Those items become sticking points, because they are in some way emotive. I advise them to forget about the small stuff and just focus on getting what they want.

Christopher Voss- (The Hostage Negotiator)- I like to define negotiation as emotional intelligence on steroids. The key to success is navigating the other person’s emotions. In a hostage situation, emotions might seem to be larger than normal, but it doesn’t mean they’re any different. I do think introspective people make better negotiators because they think about human dynamics more. They don’t miss what’s going on.

How to handle a difficult situation

Elizabeth O’Shea- (The Parenting Guru) Pre-negotiate tantrums. The first time, you can’t do a lot about it – you weren’t expecting it. But you need to plan ahead for when it happens again. Talk to them and ask questions.

Read the full article from The Guardian [HERE]. 

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Crisis Negotiator: The Key to Resolution Is Listening

"Every situation is different and whatever brought a person, or precipitated an event, to where a person felt that they were in crisis is different for everybody," she said. "So we have to listen to find out what that is, to see how we can resolve that situation."

A tense standoff Thursday morning where a father led police on a pursuit with his four children in the car ended with no injuries, thanks to negotiations with police over a cell phone.
A seasoned negotiator with the San Diego Sheriff's Department said the key to diffusing a crisis situation is listening and genuine communication.

Lt. Christina Bavencoff, commander for the department's Crisis Negotiation Team, said the priority is ensuring everyone goes home safely. Thursday afternoon, that was the successful outcome after police took Daniel Perez into custody and rescued his children on a San Diego freeway.

Source: http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/local/Crisis-Negotiator-The-Key-to-Resolution-is-Listening-285569941.html#ixzz3O5hRolE3 

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