How to Divorce/Martin Rosenfeld

Posted on January 29, 2012

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One of the hot author/lecturers on the circuit now is the entrepreneur, Dov Seidman.  In his work, “How We Do Anything Means Everything…in Business (And in Life), Seidman espouses the theory, best summed up by former Senator Bill Bradley that “It is in your interest to do the right thing.” Our ability to succeed has now been reduced to the idea that doing the right thing truly pays dividends. As proof of this, the Seidman book makes reference to a doctor’s organization housed at the University of Michigan. The doctors were concerned about the rising rate of malpractice suits. How did they counter this trend? The doctors decided that when their actions were absolutely proper, they would zealously defend their actions against litigation. However, in those cases where the doctors felt that some error, perhaps a minor one, had indeed occurred, they would apologize to the client.  The attorneys advised against such a policy, but the doctors refused to budge. The result was that the new “apology policy” led to a 50% decrease in the number of legal claims aimed at this group.  Clearly, it was in their collective interest to do the right thing.

Dr. Seidman makes the point convincingly that in the internet age, it is virtually impossible to hide negative or wrongful behavior.  Winner-take-all strategies have become obsolete.  It is now “in” to do the right thing. Why does this help in the business world? The Seidman theory states that global competition is so keen, that one way to stand out is to show moral superiority. How you treat your customers and employees will truly redound to your favor if you act properly. All of us desire a sterling reputation. The Seidman advice is predictable: you will attain such recognition by living a life defined by integrity.

In divorce, you will hear many who will advise about a posture of “taking no prisoners alive”. Very likely, such advice comes from the lips of those who attained divorce through the posture of rancor and a “brass knuckles” approach.  Will this lead to a better divorce outcome? Probably not. Will it lead to an enhanced reputation? Definitely not. Will it help your children and family members? You know the answer to that.  Divorce mediation gives you a chance to perform the “how” of divorce with grace and class. Mediate don’t litigate. Doing the right thing will truly pay off.

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