The Art of Listening/Martin Rosenfeld, JD

Studs Terkel was an author, actor, and media presence for decades. In his memoir “Touch and Go” he explains the art of gaining people’s trust in the following way: “The person recognizes that you respect them, because you’re listening. Because you’re listening, they feel good about talking to you.” How does the process of mediation work? For that matter, how does the process of talk therapy work? It is all about respect, and it is all about listening. Mediators have known this for decades. But the human condition works along the same pattern. Listening engenders respect. People like to know they are being heard. Once that element of respect has been formed, further talking becomes inevitable. Talk long enough and you will get to Win-Win. But it all begins, says Mr. Terkel, with respect. Mediate don’t litigate. Litigation leads neither to added respect nor to added purposeful conversation. It will never be an adjunct to mediation.

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