June 28, 2010
Letting Go of Conflict: The Necessary Step
People in conflict have three options open to them:
- stay in conflict (e.g., I’m right / you’re an idiot)
- surrender the conflict to another (e.g.. I’m right / I can prove you’re an idiot)
- transcend the conflict (e.g., there’s some way in which we’re both right)
carl Micheal rossi- Collaborative Coach
I sometimes ask potential clients: are you ready let go of being in conflict with the other person? I invite you to consider this question if you think that mediation might be the right resolution process for you and your spouse.
Working together to craft a divorce agreement asks a lot of clients. It asks them to be invested in how the potential outcome affects their spouse, in addition to how it affects them. This can be a hard reality of the mediation process for clients to bear through the months of information gathering, option development, and negotiation. How do most mediation clients make it through to resolution? They stay unwaveringly focused on their values and goals for the process. They stay committed to constantly transcending any conflict that arises by acknowledging the other person’s needs. They tell themselves as often as necessary that it takes work to craft an acceptable divorce agreement with their spouse, and allow it to be uncomfortable and painful.
If you’re feeling in crisis about your impending divorce process, that’s natural, and certainly not an automatic bar to being able to successfully work out your divorce agreement in mediation. There are ways to work through the stages of grief in tandem with working out your divorce agreement. This can involve working with a divorce coach, taking classes on grief or communication, reading resources on how to deal with the stress of the divorce process.
Mediation opens the door for people to choose peace, choose a resolution that meets their and their spouse’s needs, no matter how galling that compromise might feel like. But it can be the death knell of a mediation process, when the two people cannot let go of conflict and instead continue to operate from that, “I’m right and the other person is an idiot” point of view.