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Three Key Considerations for a Successful Peacemaking Practice

November 11, 2017

Yesterday I met with a small group of people helping them build a successful peacemaking practice in the context of separation/divorce.  Interestingly though, one participant represented industry as a negotiator/adjudicator of typically workplace labor-management disputes.

Of the information provided and emphasized, I think the three most important points for building a successful practice in peacemaking was:

  1. Build your practice on the value of abundance and not scarcity. 

With scarcity, people are afraid to share and help out other colleagues. They hoard clients and rarely refer to other professionals who may actually be more appropriate to the task. These practitioners worry about where their next referral will come from. As a result, they don’t build relationships and referral networks.

Those who practice from a place of abundance, share and seek to see others do well. They make referrals and concern themselves that their clients get the best service possible. As a result of their sharing, those who practice from a place of abundance build close, strong relationships that wind up being reciprocal. As such, they tend to have bigger, better referral networks and are more highly spoken of by their clients and colleagues.

  1. Be very mindful of the disposition of the people calling you for service.  

If someone is calling a family lawyer, mediator, divorce financial professional, a counselor, that person is likely feeling either anger or fear. They may be mad at someone for the demise of the relationship, impact on self, family and kids as well as for the inevitable change that will occur and even perhaps for the way matters have come about.

Alternately, the person may be afraid. They may be petrified for the implication of things to come. They may have been threatened with harm; financially, socially, physically or materially. They likely don’t know their rights or how to protect themselves. In the initial stages of a separation, there can be much to be afraid of.

People are also likely upset about having to pay any of these professionals for their service even if in need of service. Our services are a grudge spend, meaning people begrudge having to spend their hard earned money on something that isn’t a mortgage, a car payment, food, clothing, etc.

Given anger and fear and our service as a grudge spend, we must support, set reasonable boundaries, advise accordingly, sooth, empathize and be seen as frugal with regard to the spending of their money. This is how we connect with people at intake and help them to feel safe using our service.

  1. If you don’t use social media, you don’t exist these days. If you do use social media, remember the “social” in social media. 

Many practitioners take a standoffish approach to their use of social media. It is as if their social media is a brochure where they simply hang information. Their use of social media doesn’t connect them to the folks they seek to reach.

For social media to be effective, you must connect with people. You must post regularly and you must engage in the comments and conversation. Through social media people learn about you and how you come across. People like to know or have a sense of their service provider in advance of meeting. It is comforting.

It is not that one provides direct advice or guidance, but we can speak to general issues and we can point people to other services and resources that may be of benefit and we can provide information as to concepts that are generally helpful.

Those who practice from a place of scarcity complain they are giving information away for free and that as a result, they may not be needed.

Those who practice from a place of abundance realize that in being generous and supporting and understanding, people appreciate those values and may be more inclined to use or recommend your service to others.

Of course we also talked about much more in the workshop, including; how to develop a suite of services; how to present services on a website with accessible language; and how to present one’s own values and approach to service.

Everyone left with a to do list they can start first thing Monday morning to take their practice to the next level.

It was a very full day with lovely and engaged participants.

I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker. Check out all my services and then call me if you need help with a personal issue, mental health concern, child behavior or relationship, divorce or separation issue or even help growing your practice. I am available in person and by Skype.

Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

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Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Dundas and Georgina Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America. He consults to mental health professionals as well as to mediators and collaborative law professionals about good practice as well as building their practice.

One Comment
  1. daveyone1 permalink

    Reblogged this on World Peace Forum.

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