Mediation and the Cult of Personality/Martin Rosenfeld

Posted on September 5, 2010

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Articles appear currently, in ever-increasing number, trying to evaluate what is at the core of the drop in President Obama’s popularity. One theory that is intriguing is that the President has placed too much emphasis on his personality and his self-declared assets. Thus, for example, a reported of meeting of worried Democrats with the President led to a concern that the Carter era, where Democrats took great losses, might be repeating itself. The President’s reaction was :No need to fear, because you will have me campaigning for you. A President, it is suggested, does best when he makes his agenda the main focus of his presidency and not his personality or personal assets.

In divorce negotiations, it is probably near-impossible not to personalize the events that transpire. However, such activity will rarely lead to anything positive. Mediation places the focus on the needs of the parties. In a productive mediation, the parties will actually discover that they share many core needs. Most obvious would be the need to protect their children from a bitter and protracted divorce battle.

A focus on personalities will often yield to a Newtonian law: Every action will have an opposite and equal reaction. Put your emphasis on needs and goals rather than personalities, as you proceed through the divorce process. This is the tried-and-true way to get to Win-Win. Mediation works. Give it a try.

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