by Brian Don Levy, Esq., Collaborative Attorney and Mediator
What single item can add the most cost to your divorce or civil dispute? Acting or reacting based on emotional thinking, or making unilateral decisions that are based in emotional thinking. It is critical to understand how our emotions can drive our thinking and our behavior, and it is important to manage those emotions in a healthy way that allows for understanding viable solutions and facilitates well thought out problem solving.
Every legal and financial decision is potentially wrapped in emotion, and those emotions can prevent us from fully understanding our options and choosing the options that make the most sense going forward. For almost every divorcing couple or civil disputant, trust is usually broken and communication is not working very well, if at all. Bringing broken trust and poor communication into the decision-making process is not a good recipe for success.
Therefore, communication coaches are an important investment to be made in achieving a long term satisfying outcome for those in conflict. I use the term “investment” because failure to understand and manage emotions is a huge cost inflator for those engaged in civil and family law disputes. The valuable work provided by the communication coach is a cost savings mechanism as well as a valuable resource for those in conflict.
Our emotions determine the “elevator music” that plays in the background of all we do. Going through a divorce or civil dispute creates uncertainty and ambiguity, which can drive fear. If fear is the background music playing in our minds at times of conflict, then our ability to process choices and achieve informed consent is limited if not impeded. Having a communication coach to work with allows a sounding board to check in and assess if we are reacting from an emotional standpoint rather than a legal or financial standpoint.
Having a communication coach also makes it easier for the client to stay present and focused, manage their emotions, and moderate their behavior. It has been my experience in working with clients embroiled in civil and family law disputes that communication coaches can assist in measurable ways on many levels, including:
- Helping client create enhanced safety zones;
- Helping client cope with strong emotions and stress;
- Helping client to practice effective communication;
- Helping client remove barriers to communication;
- Facilitate necessary and difficult conversations;
- Check in with clients and make sure they stay on task; and
- Coach the client to the finish line of their dispute resolution process;
Collaborative Law is a unique process that utilizes an integrated team of professionals working together to help people involved in all types of civil and family law disputes to co-create agreements that will be durable and lasting. Each professional is highly trained in his or her specific profession and all professionals work together to support a healthy outcome. The integrated team of Collaborative professionals includes legal professionals, financial professionals and communication coaches to support a conflict resolution process that promotes healthy and sustainable outcomes.
Communication coaches are a vital component to the interdisciplinary team of professionals to help us separate the fear or anxiety from the decision-making process so that clients can remain fully present in meetings and in making the important decisions that must be made in a way that will be satisfying, durable and lasting.
Experience is not Expensive. It’s Priceless!