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Curiosity Is Everything

by Debra Synovec
May 2010

From the Real Divorce Mediation Blog of Nancy Hudgins and Debra Synovec

Debra  Synovec

John Medina points out in Brain Rules that curiosity is everything.

Curious mind.  Cpen mind.  Responsive mind.  All three advance your divorce settlement conversations.

Invariably there are points in divorce settlement discussions where your spouse makes a proposal that you just can't swallow.  Your immediate negative reaction suggests that the proposal was never seriously considered.  It's easy to shoot down a proposal without full evaluation.  Before you automatically reject your spouse's proposal, cultivate your curious mind. 

Ask questions. 

  • what makes your spouse think the proposal is good for you?
  • how is it a fair proposal for both spouses?
  • are there ways to tweak it to better meet both spouses' needs and interests?

Have a conversation.  By asking good questions, you both will think about the proposal more deeply.  Perhaps through more brainstorming, ideas and options will come up that meet each of your objectives better.  By having a conversation, the original germ of an idea may grow into an option that works for both of you.

Being curious and showing an open mind may create more options for the two of you.  A reactive "No!" shuts the door and cuts off the conversation.  Curious questions can open the door to more opportunity.

What do you think?


Debra Synovec, a Seattle-based mediator and lawyer, has mediated divorces for 20 years. She believes in empowering the parties to reach their own resolution.

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