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Empathy Deficit Disorder in the USA?

by Jan Frankel Schau

From Jan Schau's blog.

Jan Frankel Schau


I recently borrowed Barack Obama's Book, "The Audacity of Hope" from my 80 year old father. I am intrigued by this articulate and engaging candidate--even though I meet every criteria to be a Hillary Clinton supporter (middle aged, professional, Caucasian woman). In the Chapter he calls "Values", he talks about his mother's simple principle--"How would that make you feel?" as a guidepost for his politics. Then he says, "It's not a question we ask ourselves enough, I think; as a country, we seem to be suffering from an empathy deficit." My own work as a mediator compels me to concur.

Lately, I have been mediating business disputes where employees urge fair treatment from their former employers, or a business deal gone sour demands recompense to make things right. On the other side, I see struggling business people and professionals who cannot afford the inflated demands made of them--even though they may have agreed to those terms (before the costs of litigation were added) in more economically favorable times. And I, standing "in the middle" can simply urge empathy. Obama says, "No one is exempt from the call to find common ground". I am grateful that I listened to the call and act daily in an effort to bring mutual understanding and then action by those in conflict. It's my own contribution towards addressing the Empathy Deficit Disorder from which our country may be suffering.

Biography


Attorney Jan Frankel Schau is a highly skilled neutral, engaged in full-time dispute resolution. Following a successful career spanning two decades in litigation, she has mediated over 700 cases for satisfied clients. Ms. Schau understands the nuances of trial and settlement practice as well as client relations and balancing the needs of their representatives with the risk and expenses of trial. Those who have used Ms. Schau’s services recognize excellence in her persistence, optimism, creativity and integrity.

Ms. Schau was the President of the Southern California Mediation Association in 2007 and is recognized as among the most outstanding mediators in Southern California in the mediation of civil disputes by her peers and clients. She also serves as a Trustee of the Board of Directors of the San Fernando Valley Bar Association, and has presided as Chair of it’s Alternative Dispute Resolution Section and Litigation Section. She holds a Certificate of Advanced Skills in Negotiation from the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution of Pepperdine University as well as from the Western Law Center for Disability Rights at Loyola Law School.



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Website: www.schaumediation.com

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