Thursday, 23 July 2009

Collaborative Law. What will we talk about?

I continue to work within collaborative law, helping divorcing and separating couples to communicate with each other to reach a solution.

My Youtube video introducing the concept of Collaborative Law can be found here and is helping people to understand how the process works.

Many people do not understand however exactly what is discussed within the collaborative meetings.

I have prepared the mindmap below to assist in that regard. Click on the "Maximise" button to open the full mindmap in a separate window. Alternatively you can zoom out (a bit) or click anywhere on the map and drag it about.

The items on the left are predominantly procedural. The first collaborative meeting often concentrates on these points.

The points on the right are more content based. Their emphasis and the extent to which they are explored will vary from case to case, and meeting to meeting depending upon where the clients' concerns lie.

I hope that this is helpful. If you would like more information then please do not hesitate to contact me. You can find me at or

Incidentally, I can recommend the mindmapping facility for ease of use.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Why rushing to grab a solution is not always a good idea.

One of the chapters of my Conversational Riffs book is titled "Solutions". In part it looks at the tendency to grab the first solution that is put forward without exploring other possibilities.

I have a good joke that I use in workshops and keynotes to illustrate. This is not it but is a good joke all the same and illustrates the point well.

A lesson in why rushing to grab the first solution is not a good idea...

A man went to the doctor one day, complaining of insufferable chronic headaches he had been suffering from for several months.

The doctor checked him over and said;

"Sir I've got good news and bad news. The good news is I can cure you. The bad news is that I am going to have to remove your testicles. You see, you have a rare condition whereby your testicles are placing immense pressure on the base of your spine, which in turn impacts upon the flow of spinal fluid and associated problems with your hypoglossal nerve and lower cortex. I'm afraid they'll have to go."

"Are you sure there's nothing else you can do Doctor?" asked the man.

"I'm afraid not, but I can get you operated on within the week."

Two weeks later and the man was walking down the High Street having had his operation, pleased that his headaches have gone at last but feeling a little low after his life changing operation. As he walked past an old fashioned tailor's store he thought he would treat himself to a new suit to cheer himself up.

"Hello Sir," said the attentive tailor, "What can I get you? A new suit? Certainly, step this way."

The tailor looked at the man. "Hmm, now let's see. I'd say you wear a 42 inch chest jacket with longish sleeves, would that be right Sir?"

"Remarkable," said the man, "Yes I am, how did you know that without measuring?"

"40 years in the job, Sir, 40 years." and he went to fetch a sample jacket.

Having ordered a suit the man thought he would get a couple of new shirts also, just to cheer himself up.

"Hmm, now let's see. I'd say you're a 16 inch neck, would that be right Sir?"

"Remarkable," said the man, "Yes I am,"

"40 years in the job, Sir, 40 years." and he went to fetch some shirts to try.

The man had ordered his suit and chosen some shirts and thought that, just to top off his outfit, he would treat himself to some decent underwear, and said as such to the tailor.

The tailor looked at him, up and down and said;

"Hmmm, now let's see. I'd say you wear 36 inch waist boxer shorts, would that be right sir?"

"Aha," thought the man, "I've got him on this one..."

"No," he replied, "I wear 32 inch waist jockeys."

The tailor looked surprised and said

"Oh sir, but that can't be right. If that were so your testicles would place immense pressure on the base of your spine, restricting the flow of spinal fluid and giving you insufferable chronic headaches..."