How many times have I encountered people, or persons who know someone, involved in a major dispute but refuse to engage in mediation? What keeps them from trying to settle a serious difference that may reduce, if not eliminate, intra-family strife, as well as the emotional and financial costs of prolonged conflict?
In our practice, we’ve encountered parties who admit that — without our involvement as neutrals and non-judgmental listeners — they would never have put long-standing and challenging issues behind them. But what about family members who’d rather let the pot simmer than cool things off?
What techniques can we, as mediators, offer to encourage parties to seize, rather than dismiss, the opportunity to end or minimize strife? [Read more…]