Approaching Family Mediation in Chicago Illinois in a Zen State – by Brian James

Family mediation in Chicago Illinois often grapples with some difficult tasks, such as determining what type of shared parenting responsibilities the parties will have, when visits with children will occur and how children will be raised.  In order to make the most of family mediation in Chicago Illinois, it is necessary to maintain composure and approach the process in a peaceful manner.  Some ways to accomplish this include:

Staying Calm

When parties react in anger, frustration or bitterness, the results are not usually good.  The other party often shuts down and goes on the defensive.  Rather than listening to the other party, the person only waits to find some way to become adversarial and fight back.  To stay calm, it is important to look at the big picture.  The best interests of the children should be the focus of attention.

Adopting Self-Awareness

Most disputes are not entirely one person’s fault, despite potential blame games that couples play.  To maintain one’s composure, it can help to think about how a person may be contributing to the conflict and consider ways to adjust this so that the parent is part of the solution and not part of the problem.

Listening Carefully

An effective technique that mediators use is active listening.  Mediators do not listen to the party just so that he or she can contribute to the conversation.  Instead, they listen carefully to determine what are some underlying interests that the party has, the rationale for his or her position and possible solutions to the problem.  Parties should adopt this same technique to better understand the other’s interests and to consider how the issues may be resolved.  Some ways to assure that the party is focused on what the other is saying is by summarizing what the other party said and asking clarifying questions.

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