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<xTITLE>Using Images to Solve Problems is Brain-Friendly</xTITLE>

Using Images to Solve Problems is Brain-Friendly

by Stephanie West Allen
October 2012

Neuroscience and Conflict Resolution Blog by Stephanie West Allen

Stephanie West Allen

Doctors do it. Trial lawyers do it. Kids do it. Why aren't more lawyers doing it? Why don't we see it more often in mediations?

"It" is drawing. Given what we know about the brain, one would expect to see much more drawing in meetings of decisions coaches with their clients. By decision coaches, I mean service professionals of all stripes, including physicians, ministers, dentists, mental health professionals, funeral directors, lawyers, and mediators.

In at least two ways, drawing can improve communication between decision coaches and their clients. First, it can help the coach explain factors that may be important to the client's making a good decision about matters for which he has sought the professional's counsel. Second, it can facilitate the client's explaining to the coach matters critical to the decision being made. Drawing can take understanding between decision coach and client to a new level of clarity.

Drawing also brings another bonus to decision making. Words are not always the most direct, efficient, and productive vehicle for accessing good ideas and sharp insights in the mind and brain.The fastest path to creativity often may be through drawing. (I've blogged about this before and explained why I frequently have attendees at my seminars draw the concepts we are discussing.) If the decision coach

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Stephanie West Allen, JD, practiced law in California for several years, held offices in local bar associations, and wrote chapters for California Continuing Education of the Bar. While in CA, Stephanie completed several five-day mediation training programs with the Center for Mediation in Law, as well as a two-year intensive with Center co-founder Gary Friedman. She has been a mediator for over two and one-half decades.

She is the author of Triversity Fantasy — Seven Keys To Unlock Prejudice, Creating Your Own Funeral or Memorial Service: A Workbook and many articles on workplace and professional issues for such publications as Lawyer Hiring and Training Report, Colorado Nurse, The Complete Lawyer, National Law Journal, Of Counsel, Law Practice and Denver Business Journal.

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