May 4-5, 2012
19th Annual Northwest Dispute Resolution Conference
6.4 Empathy: The Mediator’s Sixth Sense
Doug Nathan, conflictmatters, Bainbridge Island, WA
Greg Abell, Sound Options Group, Bainbridge Island, WA
Saturday, May 5, 2012 3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.
Empathy is one of the most important qualities we possess as mediators. The empathetic listener accurately identifies what another person is thinking, feeling, wanting and intending. Empathy allows us to know what it is like to be the other without losing our own emotional boundaries. By building empathy “muscles,” we can identify the real conversations that need to occur.
In the late 1980’s Greg Abell served as a founding member and first Board President of the Kitsap County Dispute Resolution Center. Over the past 20 years, he has continued to serve the field in a leadership capacity through his affiliation as Board President for the Washington Mediation Association, and as senior consultant to Consortium for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE).
Greg is the Principal at Sound Options Group, LLC, coordinating the design, implementation and delivery of all services. His particular area of expertise is in assisting agencies, organizations and communities in designing and implementing systems for more effectively managing conflict, and facilitating productive and collaborative work environments. As a professional mediator, Greg has experience mediating highly contentious, multi-party community and institutional disputes.
As Managing Director of Conflictmatters, Doug Nathan provides conflict engagement and leadership development services to Public Schools, Corporations, and State and Federal agencies. For over 16 years he has worked as a coach, facilitator and trainer to teach leadership and team-building skills. As a certified mediator, Doug helps people find common ground during stressful life transitions such as eldercare decision-making, dissolution, community disagreements, and business and workplace disputes. He teaches on a variety of topics including handling difficult conversations, influence without authority, negotiation, consulting for effective change, and handling workplace stress.