George Mitchell, mediator, listener

There has been some news coverage about George Mitchell’s new assignment as Middle East special envoy. In particular, his recent trip to the region has been described as a “listening tour”.  Unlike efforts to force a solution on parties, efforts to mediate a solution are based on what the parties themselves view as their priorities, their nonnegotiable points, their timetables, etc. In short, the process is all about them — not about what the mediator’s point of view.

So, it’s not surprise that listening by the mediator is essential. How else would a mediator learn just what the conflict is all about — from the parties’ own perspectives?

Posted in Conflict Resolution in the News, Saturday, January 31st, 2009

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