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Mediation Blog

Topic: Communication | 13 post(s).

March 3, 2022 - After my last video on grace, a colleague asked if I had any examples of parties showing grace in mediation. Actually, I have many but one from several years ago sticks out. The husband had done something that not only irreparably damaged the trust between the parties but also had a financial effect on the whole family. Even under those circumstances, the wife was able to show compassion and grace to the husband.     [...]

February 16, 2022 -   I became intrigued with the idea of grace after hearing an interview with Kirsten Powers about her book Saving Grace. A lot of what she said and wrote in the book really resonated with me. Especially in the last several years — we've been treating people with whom we disagree in terms of beliefs and ideas, not only with a lack of grace but with a lack of humanity. We just see them as the sum total of their ideas, as opposed to individuals with whom we may [...]

September 24, 2021 -   You're going through a separation and your communication with your co-parent is awful. You fight about everything. You're wondering: ''How are we ever going to be able to agree upon major decisions about our children, and what are we going to do if we can't make any decisions?'' Your answer to that might be: ''Well, maybe I should just say I'll be the sole decision-maker and I'll ask for sole custody.'' While that sounds rational to you, it's not going to have [...]

July 16, 2021 -   Strong emotions can arise when you are talking about distributing a pension. By explaining why each of you feels entitled to the pension, you can open the door to a productive discussion and start talking about options in a way that recognizes what you both need and what your expectations are. Through that discussion, you may be able to reach a settlement that's going to meet those needs and expectations.     [...]

May 20, 2020 - {3 minutes to read} As a divorce mediator, it’s not surprising that I work with many couples who experience a lack of communication. Since that lack of communication is now being coupled with spending an inordinate amount of time with your spouse during the pandemic, you may consider this an opportunity to improve your communication. In Listening During a Pandemic, Kate Murphy writes that while a pandemic has the likelihood of causing an increase in divorce, it ca [...]

March 25, 2020 - Mediation may not be appropriate for everybody but could be the right process for you. Unfortunately, many people dismiss it out of hand, based upon some misconceptions about what mediation is or isn’t. This video tries to dispel some of the most common myths to help you decide if mediation is right for you. [...]

October 29, 2019 -   To find out what you’re entitled to, you need to go to court. But going to court does not guarantee you will get what you want. When someone focuses on entitlement, there are usually some underlying emotions that need to be addressed. If those underlying emotions haven't been dealt with in a productive way, you're not going to be able to move forward in the positive way that you're looking for. [...]

February 15, 2018 - {1:00 minute to read} My colleagues, Dr. Jeff Zimmerman and Dr. Lauren Behrman, posted an article on how your children may pick up on the negative communication between you and your spouse/ex-spouse, even if you do not. The article reminds us that all communication in front of children, both verbal and nonverbal, has an impact on them. I’m also heartened that Jeff and Lauren propose practicing mindfulness to help parents transform unhealthy practices into healthy [...]

September 7, 2017 - {4:00 minutes to read} I recently heard an interview of Connie Shultz, the spouse of Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio. She shared that since 2007, the motto of her life has been "no whining on the yacht." It began after her husband had just been elected Senator. She was publishing her second book, and life was good. At one point, she complained to her editor about the deletion of a litany of stories detailing the wrongs she felt occurred in the senate race. Her editor insiste [...]

August 16, 2017 - {3:54 minutes to read} After working with a couple who had particularly good communication skills and consequently had achieved an agreement with relative ease, I gave some thought as to how this couple was different from some of my other clients. And then I remembered that, following the first 100 days of the new administration, my friend and fellow mediator, Ada Hasloecher, posted five lessons for parties in mediation. I decided I couldn’t do it any better mysel [...]

April 3, 2017 - {3:24 minutes to read} I thought it was interesting that the Personal Health columnist for the New York Times, Dr. Jane Brody, wrote a column entitled “The Right Way to Say I’m Sorry.” She posits that taking responsibility for your actions and offering a true apology to someone you’ve hurt actually is a matter of your own health and well being. Dr. Brody refers to these words from Harriet Lerner’s Why Won’t You Apologize? as to why an [...]

September 27, 2016 - {3:42 minutes to read} Dog training was never a strong suit for my husband or me, but our new dog, Toby, proved to be in desperate need of some consistent direction and attention. We hired a trainer to come to the house. I also dug out all of our training books and searched online for new techniques when some of the things we were doing didn’t seem to suit Toby or me. One of the biggest challenges was walking him. We live in a pretty quiet neighborhood, but any so [...]

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