divorce and family mediation in nyc

jennifer safian, divorce mediator

212-472-8626    info@safianmediation.com

{2:30 minutes to read} Coming from an artistic background, reframing for me meant putting a new frame around a painting, usually to enhance the painted image.reframe-300x199

So how does that apply to our work as facilitators of a conversation?

Reframing refers to expressing what someone says in different words while being careful to maintain the content and spirit of what they were saying.

I was working recently with a couple, let’s call them Abby and John, helping them with the separation of their assets. In referring to one particular joint savings account, Abby said John should take 1/3 and she would keep the remaining 2/3, because she was the primary caretaker of their child. John did not snap at her vocally but his body language was telling us that he profoundly disagreed.

I asked Abby to be a little more explicit as to her thinking, especially as it pertained to the use of the funds for their child. She said that she planned to earmark 1/3 of the savings account for the child’s future education.

So I reframed her proposal in the following way: “Abby, if I understand correctly, you are actually proposing that you and John each take 1/3 of the account, and that you put aside the other 1/3 for your child. So in fact, you and John are taking the same amount for yourselves.”

She acquiesced and John immediately agreed to that proposal, almost as if it was different that the previous one. Truth be told, the offer was the same, just expressed differently.

I believe this is a perfect example of a conversation that could have derailed the whole process.  However, fully understanding the meaning of the proposal and reframing it, showed that Abby and John were completely aligned in their decision.

How many times do you have misunderstandings with someone and argue over it when the two of you are actually saying the same thing in different ways?  Feel free to leave me a comment in the reply box below.

Jennifer Safian

jennifer safian. divorce and family mediator
divorce and family mediation
upper east side of manhattan (nyc)
new york, ny
(212) 472-8626
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2017-05-26T07:38:57+00:00 By |Finances & Divorce, Mediation|

One Comment

  1. Lillian May 6, 2016 at 7:55 am - Reply

    So simple…yet often so difficult to understand…

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