Don't we all wish we could feel heard when we talk to people about what we want? Don't we all long for them to just "get it?" If they could just "GET IT," things could be so much better! Right?
What if I told you that you could achieve it? That a gifted and highly experienced matrimonial attorney and a Professional Life Coach specializing in divorce, would collaborate and share their tried and true recipe with you in one evening, and could dramatically increase your chances of being heard regarding what's important to you?
That's actually what the NYC Divorce Support Group experienced live on September 30, 2014. The group gathered at a magnificent Morgan Stanley 5th Avenue Conference Room and were hosted by the extremely knowledgeable and highly regarded financial advisor, Maria Keeler.
Jacqueline Harounian, law partner at Wisselman, Harounian and Associates, started the evening by sharing compelling reasons why positive communication between the parties during the divorce process is so important. She explained, from extensive experience, how effective communication can substantially shorten the length and stress of divorce, and by so doing, significantly lower bills. Jackie's recommended communication between the parties to be emailing, particularly for effective co-parenting. She explained that emails should never be passive aggressive, or hostile in tone. Emailing with a positive and collaborative tone, allows the other party to reflect and respond, rather than being impulsive. It also keeps a valuable paper trail, if necessary. Jackie's keen insight into human nature and relationships is truly unique and is one of the factors that makes her stand out among her peers.
Among many important communication techniques which can be easily implemented, Heidi Krantz of Reinvention Life Coaching shared the "Sandwich Technique" for effective communication. In brief summary, the first piece of bread in the sandwich is a statement that appreciates a positive quality or behavior in the person you are communicating with. The meat of the sandwich is the change that you would like to see. This statement should start with "I" not "you" and it should be flipped from "negative to positive," in other words, say what you want, not what you don't. Keep it short, clear, and to the point. Close the sandwich with another statement of appreciation about who the person authentically is. Your tone of voice is crucial to how your message is received.
Ironically, says Heidi, "The most effective way to be heard is to hone our listening skills first." When we give someone the gift of feeling heard, they will remember the feeling and they will be more likely to reciprocate. The group's enhanced communication skills will serve them well throughout all phases of the divorce process when relating to family, children, attorneys, other professionals, co-workers, and co-parents.
Topics discussed ranged from spousal maintenance, enhanced earnings, annulment, primary residence for children, co-parenting issues, division of assets, court appearances, to strategies for communicating with a spouse who refuses to respond.
Maria Keeler shared incredibly helpful financial materials including a detailed booklet entitled "Weathering Divorce".
All had shared a positive experience complete with valuable strategies to empower them to go home and "Communicate to Listen and be Heard."
Heidi Krantz, OTR, CPC is a Certified, Professional Life Coach with a specialty in divorce. She is the founder of Reinvention Life Coaching, a published author, and a well-known speaker. Based upon her extensive professional and personal experience with divorce, Heidi coaches men and women through all phases of divorce and post-divorce, in order to help bring about a more positive process resulting in strength, confidence, and success. www.reinventionlifecoaching.com.