Mending Fences is a podcast about dispute resolution and effective ways to communicate and live across differences. Hosts Patrice Brymner and Jennifer Hawthorne are both family mediators and collaborative law attorneys, but their conversations go well beyond family law. They explore the personal, interpersonal, legal, and cultural impact of conflict. Intro/outro: "North Oakland Extasy," by Squadda B
Taking Charge of Tough Talks: Tools for Success
Are you shying away from initiating those tough conversations? This episode is filled with practical wisdom and guidance that will empower you to start tough conversations with anyone. Hosts Patrice Brymner and Jen Hawthorne dive into the nuances of understanding your own motives and goals, identifying the right people to participate in the conversation, and whether you might want to consider professional assistance . Sometimes, it's not just about finding a resolution, but creating a healthier environment for future communication.
Jen and Patrice also delve into the art of effective problem-solving conversations, emphasizing the power of using "I" statements, validating the other person's viewpoint, and setting the stage for a solution-oriented dialogue. It's crucial to acknowledge the value of timing, preparation, and the humility to accept a 'no' answer. In the end, Patrice and Jen want to help you create a space of peaceful communication and coexistence. They share insightful tips on ensuring that your conversations are productive, solely focused on creating solutions, and most importantly, help improve your relationships and daily encounters.
Finding Your Way (again): Strategies for Preserving Progress When You Change Course
Is your dispute resolution stuck? Is your divorce mediation stalled? Your collaborative divorce just not moving? As your hosts for this episode of Mending Fences, Patrice Brymner and Jen Hawthorne, we’ll guide you on how to breathe new life into stalled conflict resolution processes. We’ll share practical advice, from introducing a lawyer to mediation to using a mediator as a shuttle between parties, so you're not doomed to starting over from scratch. Amidst conflict, it's easy to be overwhelmed by a multitude of dispute resolution options. We'll help you navigate through these options - mediation, collaboration, lawyer-to-lawyer negotiations, conciliation, and arbitration - by providing guidance tailored to your unique situation.
We understand the weight and significance of progress in resolving conflicts. That's why we emphasize the importance of continuous communication, even when progress seems snail-paced. Discover strategies that can better ensure the preservation of progress in communication, even as you switch processes. We'll reveal how to hold on to made agreements and improved statuses in your dialogue, even if it doesn’t feel like progress is being made. This episode is a compass, guiding you through the labyrinth of conflict resolution options, keeping you steady, and aiding you in finding the most effective solutions.
GUEST: Karen Van Kooy on Navigating Coercion and Empowerment in Collaborative Divorce and Mediation
Can collaborative divorce or divorce mediation address pressure, coercion, and power imbalances more effectively than litigation? Join us for a deep dive into these questions with collaborative divorce attorney and mediator, Karen Van Kooy. We share our experiences and insights, contrasting the stark differences in handling a court-based divorce versus a collaborative law or mediated approach.
In this lively discussion, we unravel the complexities of coercion and imbalance that can surface in divorces. Karen shares her insights and strategies and explores the need for setting boundaries in the tricky terrain of power dynamics that can sometimes lead to coercion.
We discuss decision-making within the context of divorce mediation and the significance of considering all possible options. We consider how collaborative professional teams can handle pressure dynamics using techniques like breakout rooms, interest-based discussion, and option generation. Above all, Karen underscores the need to remind clients that the power to make the final decision lies in their hands.
Don't Make Things Worse! What to Avoid in Difficult Conversations
Jen and Patrice each share three things to avoid in any difficult conversation. At Mending Fences, we always encourage people to keep talking, but when should you stop talking? Of course it makes sense to avoid blaming and defending, but how do you do it? Patrice and Jen talk through practical tips for productive communication in difficult situations.
GUEST: Allyson Clemmons, LICSW, on Discernment Counseling
Should I Stay or Should I Go? Allyson Clemmons joins Jen and Patrice to discuss discernment counselling, a way for couples considering divorce to gain clarity about the direction of their marriage. In this approach, couples engage in a limited number of individual sessions to gain a deeper understanding of what has happened in the relationship, as well as each spouse's contribution to that. Couples can decide to maintain the relationship as it has been; they may re-commit to the marriage and begin work in couples therapy, or they may decide to initiate a divorce process. Learn more about discernment counseling and about Allyson at https://www.bridgetownclinical.com/discernment-counseling,
Conflict Resolution Skills in the IRL
Jen and Patrice talk about how conflict resolution skills can improve communication in daily life.