I’m going to share with you a simple tip that can significantly change the focus of your conversations and make them more productive. It has to do with the word “and.” By consciously choosing when and how you include “and” in your conversations, you can go from frustrating exchanges that don’t get anywhere to discussions that explore options and come up with viable solutions.
No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it. We have to think with a new mind. ~ Albert Einstein
In the broadest sense of the word, “conflict” is…any situation in which one person’s concerns or desires differ from those of another person and appear to be incompatible. Conflict is inevitable, but how we handle it is a choice. That’s true whether we’re dealing with conflict in our private lives (with our partner, children, other family members, friends) or in our work lives (with our colleagues or other professionals).
While most people have heard of divorce mediation, far fewer are aware that mediation can also be extremely helpful in discussing difficult issues that arise with respect to elder parents and their adult children.
There are many concerns that need to be addressed as a parent ages.
By their very nature, family businesses can be especially challenging to manage successfully. First, there are the normal (and not so normal) demands and pressures of running a business. But then, superimpose on that the complex relational issues that arise within a family structure . . . and you have the makings of what could potentially be a very difficult work environment.
I published an article recently about marital mediation in the context of couples who have been working with a family or couples therapist. Since this is such an important and little understood subject, I would like to take the opportunity to explain this process from a broader perspective.
Very little has been written to date about an intriguing and ‘new’ use of mediation in the family setting. Most people have heard about divorce mediation, which gives divorcing couples the opportunity to reach agreements about their property, parenting and support without having to go through a litigated (contested) divorce. The mediator, who is neutral, facilitates the conversations the couple needs to have, and helps them brainstorm options – enabling them to come up with better, win-win solutions for themselves and their children.
It’s fascinating how, as we grow older and wiser, certain ‘truisms’ repeatedly appear in our lives. As I’ve broadened in my professional life from being a lawyer to working as a life coach and mediator, I’ve found this particularly to be the case. I now see clearly how there are certain underlying principles that govern both my professional and personal life. I like to refer to this as Mediator Mind.