Bill Ury talks about why it is so important to listen in any negotiation or conflict:
He asks: So if listening is so useful, why isn’t everyone doing it? "The real problem is that there is so much going on in our minds, so much noise and distraction that we don’t have the mental and emotional space to be able to truly listen to the other side."
He says: if we listened more, what difference would it make in the world? "I believe it would make a huge difference. In the course of my mediation work, I personally witnessed the enormous cost of conflict, the broken relationships, the broken families, the stressed out workplaces, the ruinous lawsuits, and the senseless wars. What always strikes me is the biggest opportunity that we have actually, is to prevent these conflicts even before they start. How do we do that? It’s not easy, but it almost always starts with one simple step. Listening."
Ellice Halpern, J.D., is a Virginia Supreme Court certified general and family mediator.