So how does one break down barriers and build bridges in conflicts...? Through storytelling. A mediator needs to facilitate relationship building by letting people tell their stories. This builds empathy for the other and helps one begin to see things from the other's perspective. According to Douglas E. Noll, storytelling increases empathy for the other and deescalates emotions. He writes, "Empirical evidence and deep experience suggest that storytelling is the only way through the conflict maze."