Gardening as a Metaphor

A master gardener was asked whether he was born with a “green thumb.”  He responded that he was not born a master gardener and that his expertise with growing plants – his so-called “green thumb” – was the result of what he had learned during the years he spent learning to see the world from “the Plant’s Point of View.”

A common pitfall during a negotiation or dispute is to be so intent on advocating for one’s own position that one forgets to listen for cues from the other party.  Whether in business or at home, stepping away from an entrenched viewpoint during a negotiation, dispute or conflict, and trying to see the viewpoint of the other party—trying to see things from “the Plant’s Point of View”—can offer helpful clues that move the negotiation to consensus, or the dispute towards resolution.

Many lawsuits result from a small misunderstanding that snowballed out of control over months or years of neither side listening to the other’s viewpoint.  As counselors and mediators, my colleagues and I aim to help our clients explore opportunities for resolving disputes, or avoid disputes altogether.

Ideally, our clients would seek competent legal advice before finding themselves caught up these situations.  We could then use our professional skills as counselors and mediators to help both sides start on the path to maintaining or rebuilding a mutually productive, profitable, and satisfying relationship.

May’s gardening focus gives us an opportunity to pause and look at potential conflict areas in our families and businesses.  Is there a volcano eruption that can be prevented if one person is courageous enough to try to see the situation from the other person’s point of view?  If a particular situation comes to mind, perhaps it’s time to pick up the phone and call us for a word of advice.  We are always ready to discuss your situation and help you prevent future conflicts and resolve current disputes in a cost-effective and satisfactory manner.

Let us know how we can help your “garden” grow.



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