The International Academy of Collaborative Practitioners annual forum in Washington DC is going from strength to strength.
Yesterday’s session on forgiveness within family law was really powerful. It drew on material written by Fred Luskin whose website is here http://learningtoforgive.com/
Forgiveness is not a concept that we are comfortable with, I would suggest. It has religious overtones and also suggests weakness, or giving up in the face of a perceived wrong.
This material taught us that we do not need to keep hold of a grudge, of blame and anger, to pursue a right and justifiable settlement. If, instead, we can forgive, then we are more free to fully consider a full range of possible solutions, instead of being tricked into seeking retribution.
What are your thoughts? Do you think there is any room for this thing called forgiveness in family law? Is it possible to forgive safely?
This morning was fun. I met a long time friend from Twitter, a fellow collaborative lawyer from Seattle called Jeff Bean. We shared coffee before the day’s program began. Jeff is starting to take collaborative law practices into civil disputes. He has agreed to guest in my Collaborative Law and ADR podcast over the coming months to tell us a bit more about that approach.
9am saw fellow Brit presenters Duane plant and William Hogg deliver their workshop looking at the Bedrock of Collaborative Law processes. How can future-focussed questions prepare the couple,a s well as the lawyers to be more productive in their discussions. An example?
“Think about your children when they are in their in their 20’s. How would you like them to view both of their parents and how you managed your separation?” I guess that kind of question can certainly focus on the future. The session was very well delivered and received.
At midday, the forum was greatly honoured to be addressed by one of the leading lights in modern negotiating thinking.
Robert Mnookin (great name!) is the author of Beyond Winning and was today speaking on his new book Bargaining with the Devil
His book asserts that there is no hard and fast rule on whether we should always or never try to make peace with those we perceive as being evil, or the enemy. Instead, it points out some of the negative traps we fall into, or the assumptions that we make which colour our decision whether to negotiate or not.
His talk was entertaining and thought provoking. As I write this, he is downstairs signing copies of his book. I think I need to get a copy.
More classes this afternoon. More updates to follow.