Seeing the Forest Through the Trees

17 Jun

Like any other profession, I get more calls from people who inquire about mediation than actually follow through.

Often, I hear from a parent on behalf of a son or daughter who is going through a hard time with their spouse – perhaps even a divorce. Or someone who wants to mediate and is frustrated because the other party doesn’t want to yet.

Earlier this year, I received a call from someone who ended up calling again … months later. This call was a little different. It was from a business partner in a little company that was declining in these financially hard times. This struggle was causing stress on the relationship with the other partner, who lived elsewhere.

As part of my intake, I inquired what the caller thought the underlying issue in the relationship was and the response was “communication” … but the person immediately asked me whether I knew anything about “business.”  I explained that I owned my own business, had helped out in a family business and had been an operations manager at a business  – but I wanted to know more about the communication challenges that this person had referenced.

Interestingly, the caller didn’t want to go there. It’s possible that we had  hit on the issue but the partners hadn’t acknowledged it themselves.  The communication breakdown may have been there all along and the harsh economic climate had enhanced the difficulties in the business relationship.

forestMediation might have helped the partners to see the “forest through the trees.” But they perceived the negative bottom line as the high priority. Sometimes, the underlying issues may be the more important.

I hope that they have been able to figure it out because that second call was the last.


P.S. I welcome these inquiry calls. I love providing information about mediation and hopefully it will raise the overall awareness of what a wonderful conflict resolution tool it can be.



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