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January 3, 2019

How many times have you left a conversation with a loved one feeling frustrated; like they didn’t listen to a single thing you said? Or maybe everyone involved continued to talk over one another, making any communication seem impossible?

For most of us, it has happened more than once or twice. Not only are these kinds of discussions unproductive, but they can lead us to feel angry and irritated with that person, making future communication even m...

December 7, 2018

A colleague of mine, Bryant Galindo, recently wrote about a very interesting technique he uses when counseling professionals and entrepreneurs through his consulting firm, Collabs HQ.  Bryant had a client who would say “I’m sorry” whenever she received feedback, even when that feedback was constructive.   He encouraged her to say “thank you” instead... and that little shift in perspective dramatically improved her ability to collaborate...

October 19, 2018

You know the saying:

"An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"

It is true about many things in life, but it is particularly true when it comes to conflict.

This week, I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in the Farmington Community Care Fair in Unionville, Connecticut.  I spoke with so many wonderful seniors, their families, and professionals in our community who serve and care for them.  On more than one occasion, I heard somethin...

September 28, 2018

Research tells us that 5% of all conflicts become intractable, or seemingly unsolvable.  We typically see this in larger conflicts on the world stage.  Democrats vs. Republicans.  Israel vs. Palestine.  These are conflicts that have lasted for many years without any end in sight.  But these 5% conflicts can happen in our personal and professional lives too. And sadly, they can ruin family relationships.

As a mediator, it pains...

May 5, 2018

In 1946, a group of WWII veterans with disabilities at the University of Illinois followed the lead of a man named Tim Nugent, adapting sports like basketball to be played from a wheelchair. The commonly held belief at the time was that individuals with disabilities simply couldn’t play sports. Fortunately, Mr. Nugent didn’t believe in the paternalistic mentality of “protecting” people with disabilities by limiting them.

He believed in adapting.

As...

September 8, 2017

I recently counseled a family who had inherited some personal items, jewelry, art, furniture and such from a deceased parent.  The family was too emotionally attached to certain objects. It became an overwhelming and impossible challenge for the children to decide who should get which items.  They didn't want to argue or have negative feelings, so we came up with round robin system that worked for everyone.

Another woman came to me because sh...

August 10, 2017

A prospective client asked me a valid question the other day; one which got me to thinking.  His question, in two parts, was this:

"I know mediators don't give advice but don't people need to be told what to do?"

Not at all!  That is the beauty of having a family meeting. Families work together to figure out what is best for them. A family meeting puts a mediator in charge of guiding the conversation, not the decisions that come from that conversat...

March 4, 2017

Why would you need to pay a professional to have a family meeting?   I mean, it's just a conversation, right?

Let's get back to that question in a moment.  First, I am going to let you in on a few secrets about difficult conversations.

Secret #1:  A difficult conversation isn’t just a conversation.

Difficult conversations are gut wrenching and stressful and confusing. It is a struggle to think clearly through the fog of emotions and uncertai...

June 23, 2016

No - I'm not talking about marriage!  As a custody and visitation mediator, I know that marriage isn't always a lifetime commitment, no matter how good our intentions are.

But parenthood is.

Parents in the wake of separation often say "We have to get along, at least until the kids turn 18."  I'm here to tell you, that simply isn't true.  Your child will be your child always.  It is truly the commitment of a lifetime!

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With that in mind, w...

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