Marjorie JamesMy husband and I recently had one of the most incredible experiences of our lives when we participated in an archaeological dig in Israel. We are not archaeologists; we went as volunteers to do the “grunt” work. As I told a friend, we have never been dirtier or more tired and still happy in our lives! While there, we worked with some amazing people: the professional archaeologists in charge, Israeli officials from various governmental organizations, and other volunteers.

One particular official, one of the directors within the Israeli Antiquities Authority, came to visit two or three times during the three-week dig. He would be equivalent to an Undersecretary of our Department of the Interior. I was at the “headquarters” of the dig, an area shaded by netting held up by poles, when he arrived. While there, he received a phone call.

As he talked, it became increasingly evident that he and the caller were not in agreement about something. I don’t know Hebrew, so all I could do was listen to the tone of the conversation. As the call progressed, the tone of his voice grew firmer. When he hung up his cell phone, he turned to me and said, “When one is ‘Yes’ and one is ‘No’, nothing happens.”

This is like so many discussions during a divorce situation. The two parties involved are usually not in agreement about much of anything, which leads to many “Yes” and “No” conversations. As he said, that is when nothing happens.

So much wasted time, energy, and emotion can be avoided when there is a calm third party in the dialogue, someone who can clear away much of the negative and make something happen. Too many times, the “Yes” and “No” continues until a judge steps in and makes a decision that may or may not completely meet the needs of the people involved.

A much better scenario is when Collaborative law professionals work with the parties to help make the “Yes” and “No” become “Agreement.”

Copyright 2013. Marjorie E. James. All rights reserved.

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