Within conflict resolution empathy is an important ability to have. Empathy is said to be the ability to feel what others feel, and to see the world from others perspective. You might have heard about ‘stepping into someone else shoes’?

This is very important because it enables us to learn and understand why others might say or act as they do. By being able to understand the other person point of view it becomes easier to act and communicate constructively during a conflict.

Gandhi a devoted Hindu himself, once  said: ‘I am a Muslim! And a Hindu, and a Christian and a Jew – and so are all of you.’

Sometimes when a conflict has started it is not always that easy to understand the other person, and you can become locked in your own perspective. Everyone has a set of values, which have been formed by your upbringing, experiences and surroundings. But just because you believe something does not necessarily mean that it is right or that it is true. This is why it is important to actively listen to what that others have to say, and maybe take a step back and ask yourself questions such as: Why do I believe/think the way I do? To challenge your own assumptions can be healthy. That way you can develop new ideas and solutions together and avoid further conflicts – thereby also creating a stronger and healthier relationship.

Have a look at this TED-talk were Roman Krznaric talk about how empathy can create a radical social change.

 

 

Additional resource: 

Empathy and emotional intelligence: What is it really about?