Circular Questions, Trust and Understanding in Mediations

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

Abstract

This research addresses the question whether a relation-enhancing communication technique - circular questioning - influences the establishment of mutual understanding and interpersonal trust in mediation settings. A circular question obliges the addressee to take the perspective of the other disputant in the conflict. This question was studied in an experimental setting in which disputants had to solve a conflict by the help of a professional mediator, who either used circular questions or open (i.e., linear) questions. It was expected that mediations in which circular questions were used led to a higher level of mutual understanding and interpersonal trust between disputants and, ultimately, to a better outcome. The first results of the study show, however, that the questioning style of the mediator did not influence disputants' perceived mutual understanding, nor the interpersonal trust they experienced afterwards. The satisfaction with the outcome increased with a higher level of mutual understanding and interpersonal trust in their counterpart. We discuss the effects of the questioning style of the mediator and conclude with reflections on reasons why these effects did not lead to differences in mutual understanding and trust between the disputants.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGroup Decision and Negociation 2014
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the Joint International Conference of the INFORMS GDN Section and the EURO Working Group on DSS.
EditorsP. Zaraté, G. Camilleri, D. Kamissoko, F. Amblard
Pages262-267
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014
EventGDN 2014 - Toulouse, France
Duration: 10 Jun 201413 Jun 2014

Conference

ConferenceGDN 2014
CountryFrance
CityToulouse
Period10/06/1413/06/14

Keywords

  • Mediation
  • circular questions
  • perspective-taking
  • understanding
  • Trust

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Circular Questions, Trust and Understanding in Mediations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this