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Growing up my parents asked, “Why do you have to argue about EVERYTHING?” So it was no surprise when I went to law school and then further going into family law litigation. I truly do appreciate a good argument with well thought out viewpoints.
The other day though a friend of mine said, “Your parents call you The Negotiator.” This struck me as odd considering the constant complaining about my arguing when I was growing up. When I stepped back and looked from the outside in, I saw the change in me. While I will still argue over just about anything, I have also come to value others viewpoints. I have learned to see things from the other side and as a result have learned how to find the grey that is in the middle.
This “finding the grey in the middle” is my strength in mediation. All parties have a viewpoint. They all want to be heard. And most importantly, my job allows me to listen to them and then find that grey that helps them resolve their case.