You’ve heard of the book Men Are From Mars, Women are from Venus by John Gray, PhD? Fundamental to the premise of the book is this underlying hypothesis: Men and women communicate differently—what they hear, how they speak, and how they process information is very different.
At Kales & Kales PLC, we believe that is true. Men and women do tend to communicate differently. We also believe that not all women and not all men communicate similarly. Simply put, different people have different communication styles.
If, as a general matter, husbands and wives or same-gender spouses speak, hear, and process information differently when their marriage is happy and intact, imagine how the difference in speaking, hearing, and processing information can be amplified when a married couple is going through times of strife. Imagine how amplified the difference is when the couple is ending their marriage.
Differences in communication styles matter. At Kales & Kales, PLC, the Fairfax, Virginia husband and wife mediation team of Amy & Jonathan Kales truly understand this.
The benefits (with regard to communication—there are others not discussed in this blog post) that you will receive if you choose to mediate with Kales & Kales, PLC are twofold:
Because Amy & Jonathan perform all of their mediations together, the mediating couple has the benefit of two sets of ears and two sets of eyes. This makes us more receptive to different types of communication styles. It is not unusual during a mediation session, just for example, for either Jonathan or Amy to halt the conversation to confirm the other is hearing information in the way the parties intend—we know how important it is that both parties feel heard and understood; and
Amy & Jonathan, themselves, have different communication styles (and different strengths), so they are able to present information in various ways, which helps the mediating parties to process information. Jonathan tends to be a very strong verbal communicator. Additionally, he often comes up with creative/outside of the box solutions to parties’ points of conflict. Amy tends to be a bit more linear and stronger visually—as she describes herself, she “thinks in outline form.” Amy often uses a flip chart so the parties can see the questions which need to be answered or so they can see the impact of suggested solutions, e.g., what a proposed custody arrangement might look like in practice.
At Kales & Kales, PLC, we understand that all people communicate differently. We also understand how much the people who come to us to mediate want to be heard, and perhaps more importantly, understood. If you think you might benefit from the co-mediation experience, please give Kales & Kales, PLC a call.