Unintended Consequences? Or the Collaborative Process?

Unintended Consequences? Or the Collaborative Process?

Over the past few weeks, I have had two Collaborative matters reach complete resolution.  Both matters resolved at the hands of the clients.  In both situations the Collaborative team had taken the clients as far as they could.  The clients got tired of the back and forth and the cost of the Process, so they began negotiating directly.  One settled and then fell apart when additional information was determined that changed the husband’s income.  After quick consultations with the team, the couple resumed negotiations and came to a settlement.  No team involved.  And what I found most interesting is their ultimate settlement was a total restructure of what the team had worked out but very creative. In the other matter, the team put together the framework for settlement and the clients completed the final issues on their own.

I believe that if you interviewed the first couple, they would say the Collaborative Process failed them.  The second couple would have mixed review of the Process.

Did the Process fail?  The clients, with significant assistance from the team, achieved a successful conclusion.  And in both cases, the parties came into the Process with no trust and extremely poor communication skills. The team and the Process provided them the forum to get past both of those issues enough to reach THEIR settlement.

The Process worked!

We must always look at the outcome.  Did the clients reach their settlement based on their terms?  Did the team provide the clients with the information, guidance and atmosphere for reasoned thought and ability to negotiate? Did we, as a team, fulfill our Ethical Standards?

If the answer to all three is yes, then The Process worked! Join us this Friday at our weekly Happy Hour to talk about your experiences.

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