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T – for May. 12, 2011

here are three “truisms” that Gerry Friesen finds useful for his mediation work.

“Effective communicators listen more than they talk. Listening closely to another person does not mean that you agree. The outcome of a conversation is not necessarily controlled by the person who does the most talking,” he said.

In one particular case, Friesen was called in to help a farming family that was engaged in a power struggle over what direction the operation should take. One person wanted to make big changes, while the other thought the status quo was fine.

Communication was the only way to resolve the constant battle of wills.

“If you’re a family farming together, you have no choice. You have to get along,” he said.

“You need to commit to relationships for the farm to survive, you need to commit to goals. How do we get there? Talk. Co-operate. We don’t avoid, we don’t accommodate, we sit down and we talk about it.”

It’s not necessary to agree on all points right away, just be open minded enough to try to understand the other person’s point of view.

“Be interested. Go from judgment to curiosity,” said Friesen. daniel. [email protected]

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