GROUND RULES FOR COLLABORATIVE PROCESS
- Address the problems and concerns at hand; do not attack each other.
- Avoid positions; rather, express yourself in terms of needs and interests and the outcomes you would like to achieve.
- Work for what you believe is the most constructive, acceptable agreement for both of you and for your family.
- During the collaborative meetings, remember the following:
- Do not interrupt when your spouse/partner or his/her attorney or the coach or financial collaborative professionals are speaking. You will have a full and equal opportunity to speak on every issue presented for discussion.
- Do not use language that blames or finds fault with the other spouse/partner. Try to use non-inflammatory words and be respectful of each other.
- Speak for yourself, using “I” statements.
- If you share a complaint, try to raise it as your concern and follow up with a constructive suggestion.
- If something is not working for you, please tell your attorney or other collaborative professional so that your concern can be addressed.
- Listen carefully and try to understand what the other person is saying without being judgmental about the speaker or the message.
- Talk with your attorney, coach or financial professional about anything you do not understand. They can clarify issues for you.
- Be willing to commit the time required to meet regularly and be prepared for each meeting.
- Be patient. Delays in the process can happen even with everyone acting in good faith.