Does Intensity Count in Divorce Negotiations?/Martin Rosenfeld

Posted on March 1, 2012


The debate on Health Care has led to interesting polling.  While the country is divided on its support of a new Health Care program, those who are opposed often poll “strongly opposed” and those who are in favor are not passionate about their support.  This is a statistical gap many call an “intensity gap”. Often those who are most passionate about their values control the debate and/or the “news cycle”. This is likely how the “Tea Party” gatherings began to pick up visibility and a national following. In contested divorce, intensity can be a factor;a negative factor. Most cases end up in settlement.  Why make matters complicated by injecting “bad blood”? In mediations, “intensity” counts for very little.  There is no captive audience nor are there pollsters measuring what “the people out there” are thinking.  A mediation, led by a trained practitioner, is made to exchange ideas and to find solutions.  Speech-making and publicity stunts count not at all.  When people talk civilly, solutions appear and the long search for Win-Win begins.  Intensity indeed counts in the political realm.  In the field of mediation/collaborative thinking, it is the sound of the “voice of reason” that controls the tempo and the agenda. Save your intensity for political debates. Mediate don’t litigate.