Working and Living with Curiosity

Working and Living with Curiosity

Written by My Collaborative Team member, Jacinta Gallant.

I wanted to integrate my "life" with my lawyering, so I became a mediator and collaborative professional.  In the first few years, I did my best to follow the script and approach I was taught as an interest-based mediator. I did a pretty good job helping people reach agreement, but I don't think I did much to help clients gain insight. I was a busy mother and lawyer and wife and human being at the time, and I felt enough satisfaction that I was settling cases. Hey - it's better than court, right?

And then in 2010, I began experimenting with curiosity. It was so hard! In order to practice curiosity, I had to go on a problem-solving vacation (confession: I still did problem-solving at work) and WOW - did that make a difference. It made me a happier, healthier, less judgmental and more effective human being.  And a profoundly different mediator. 

When I began to notice the positive impact my curious approach had with my clients, I started sharing my experience of the power of curiosity with our collaborative community.  Our community understands the need to address conflict and help clients gain insight, but our training and disposition is to default to problem-solving.  So… I am here to tell you:  When we bring insight to conflict, we can be productively curious and – BONUS! - our ability to help with problem-solving will be elevated, because it will know its place. (Problem-solving gets way too much attention in our line of work!) 

I am grateful to Cheryl Picard, the creator of the Insight Approach to Conflict, and the teacher who entered my life at just the right time. She was willing to be my mentor. The beautiful thing about Insight is that the learning never ends.  I am grateful to Cheryl for nudging me (ok, and sometimes pushing me) towards the light.

The Curious Mediator is the course that takes everything I have learned through my journey with insight, and makes it directly applicable to our work.  Join me for this 12 month comprehensive mediation training.

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