Guest post by Abigail R.C. McManus
You want to feel heard in a conflict. I believe it is also important that you have your feelings acknowledged when disputing with another.
During our recent Conflict Chat, Pattie, Tracy and I touched on the topic of the need to be heard and acknowledged when discussing the new mediation program Baltimore will be launching for citizen complaints against police. Being a native Baltimorean and observing the power of mediation, I am super excited about this program.
I have recently contemplated if being heard and acknowledged is enough for anyone to feel satisfied? Or, does an action have to follow for you to feel truly gratified?
Baltimore has built up years of distrust, anger, and resentment between the police and the community. Perhaps this program is a step in the right direction to not only allow its citizens and police a chance to voice their feelings and point of views so that each side can hear and acknowledge one another. But also, it shows an action that the Baltimore Riots that occurred in April last year did not go unnoticed, and the issues that caused it will not be swept under the rug as it has in the past. Do I think the police and community relations will change overnight? Absolutely not, but again it is a step in the right direction.
What about in our everyday lives? Is an action needed for you to feel satisfied? Or will someone hearing and acknowledging you be enough?
It would be dishonest of me to say that having someone hear my words and recognize them is sufficient, because to me it’s not. I need actions to speak louder than words and from several conversations I have held with others, I am not the only one.
Unfortunately, every person we come in contact with may not feel the need to listen, acknowledge, or demonstrate some action to right a perceived wrong to satisfy you.
What can you do in those instances?
Originally printed here: http://www.cehd.umn.edu/ssw/rjp/Introduction A humanistic approach to mediation developed in parallel to the transformative approach to mediation in the 1990's. While fully harmonizing with transformative mediation, a humanistic approach...By Mark S. Umbreit, Ted Lewis