The Collaborative Conversation

May 29, 2017 by Sue McArthur

The collaborative conversation

The key to a good collaborative outcome is communication – the collaborative conversation between each of you and your partner, between the 2 lawyers and between you and each lawyer and between your partner and each lawyer.

So how do we all communicate better in a Collaborative 4 Way?

  • Try and not to be defensive – you are both going to have to accept that there will be things that are said that are not easy to hear
  • If your partner is raising something and you are having difficulty with it – try and remember that you can acknowledge its importance to your partner without actually having to agree with it
  • Try and listen to what is being said in full before trying to put forward your own version or raising a counter attack
  • Try and communicate without accusing – state an action or issue factually and then how it has made you feel (when you did x it made me feel y)
  • Don’t forget to say yes when it is something that you can both agree on – don’t assume everyone knows and don’t assume simply because it’s a small point that it isn’t important! Agreement on lots of small points can make dealing with the more difficult points later that much easier to deal with.
  • Try to say ‘yes, and’ rather than ‘yes, but’ – it’s much more positive
  • It isn’t easy – and you won’t always get it right – but just keep trying to be positive and looking forward.

Sue McArthur

McKeag and Co