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Conflict is inevitable and everywhere. It takes courage to acknowledge you have conflict and even more courage to look past fault and blame to your own role in creating that conflict.

This fact of life is often felt in our close relationships.

A family was involved in a dispute over their mothers’ estate. The adult siblings argued over recent changes to the will and whether their mom had the capacity to make those changes. I worked with the estate lawyer and accountant, and helped the parties realize the nature of their conflict and how litigation could completely erode the value of the estate and likely permanently damage family relationships.

The parties were able to look at how and why their own negotiations had broken down in acrimony and blame. They had the courage to look at their own stories and they were able to engage with each other about what really happened and what really mattered. This led to a complete resolution and saved their family.

We are always going to have different stories and different meanings because:

  • We have different backgrounds and life experiences.
  • We have different values and beliefs.
  • We have different information.
  • We interpret and judge differently.
  • We have different interests and needs.

Understanding the nature of your conflict and being willing to look at your own contribution to it is a critical first step to future resolution.

When we learn to manage our conflicts effectively our lives simply work better.

This is the first in a series of blogs designed to help you prepare for you own negotiations. Find the following blog in the series here.

For more information about the design of your mediation please contact us at: david@davidgouldmediation.com

Your questions and comments are welcome and appreciated.

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David Gould (LLB, QC, C Med) has helped hundreds of lawyers and their clients – business and government organizations, and individuals – in conflict situations to co-create solutions for the future. For more information, contact: david@davidgouldmediation.com or visit www.davidgouldmediation.com