Tolucan Times March 18, 2004
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 Marital Mediation© is a combination of ‘s “How to Avoid Divorce Training” and traditional mediation. In the first session, whether individual phone coaching or in a traditional person-to-person-to-person meeting, both partners are taught the basics of Herrmann Brain Dominance™.

According to the “hbdi”, there are four thinking styles that relate to our four brain hemispheres. These styles are: Logical, Organized, Emotional, and Intuitive.

When partners consider how to speak to one another, it is extremely helpful to understand how each thinks, listens and speaks. That facilitates communication and assists each partner in understanding why each of them speaks and acts as they do. By understanding the thinking and listening first, a relationship will be recreated very quickly. Partners find it helpful when they identify if they or their spouse focus on the following: Dollar figures; Keeping your word; Friendship and love; or the The Big Picture. When you learn about the 4 thinking styles of the hbdi, they will be able to design strategies that will enhance some relationships and may save others. The hbdi is an assessment instrument that takes about 30 minutes, but the results are extraordinary. Imagine if you were given a tool that explained each individual's world view as well as basic self-assessments?

Deborah Thomas, Director of Operations for The Los Angeles Bar Associations Dispute Resolution Services says, “If you can't deal with the emotions, you can't move on”.

“As we become aware of our own preferred modes of knowing and sensitive to the preferences of others, we greatly enhance our ability to communicate with the people around us.” from The Creative Brain by Ned Herrmann, inventor of the hbdi

Dear Divorce Coach,

I should have been careful what I wished ex called yesterday.... ranting about how she deserves more money, how I took advantage of her in the divorce, How she wasn't going to pay the legal bill she ran up and she finished up with a medley of old favorites: She didn't say the words but it sounds like she wants more money. I tried to identify her needs and compassionately assure her that I did love her and I wanted her to be happy and she's called me twice since. I don't take the calls. She's left sweet messages thanking me for being so kind. The whole thing makes me sick to my stomach. I can't trust her. What should I do?

Sincerely yours,
Tired and True

Dear Tired,

First, celebrate that after our sessions, you are conscious and aware of your own needs and not just reacting to hers. Second, identifying her concern as money and financial security seems accurate and upper left-brained. When you are kind and supportive and she calms down and calls again, that too, demonstrates your new-found skills.

Sincerely yours,
Ask The Divorce Coach,
Susan Allan


What happens when these different types are triggered to argument? According to William Stierle, President  of Corporate Culture Development, “each of the four thinking preferences of Herrmann Brain Dominance™ demonstrates a different reaction under extreme stress; “The Four Horsemen of The Apocalypse”. Though we are each a combination of different thinking styles, we have a preference in our perception. The L ogical/Analyzer will use Criticism to clarify facts. This thinking creates conversations like, “He owes me $9,000!” If both partners are “numbers thinkers” that is easy but what if they are not? The Organizer will employ Defensiveness to get safety . This thinking style will normally say, “She promised, she gave her word.” If both have this preference, they normally can resolve the problem by creating a step-by-step schedule that is more productive. But what if they are not both thinking this way? Emotional/Interpersonal will use Contempt in an attempt to relieve feelings. When you hear your spouse expressing outrage about your behavior can you listen to the need for connection and communication that is behind the words? Visionary/Holistic will Withdraw or Stonewall to attain an overview. If one partner complains that the expenses are appropriate because of the “big picture” and you focus on the bottom line can you reconnect to your mutual need for financial security? During arguments, e ach person is reacting instead of calmly considering his or her own need that is not being met by the other side. When I explain the 4 Thinking Styles of Herrmann Brain Dominance™ clients begin to focus on what they need. Once they understand this, they can begin to see the separate but equal needs of others and relax enough to consider compromise.

While 46% of successful relationships are considered to be with similar partners, approximately the same percentage of working relationships are with partners having different thinking styles. How is that possible? All relationships are the result of both partner's thinking. If one of you seeks a spouse who manages the money while you consider the big picture, and if you find that you will be satisfied. But if your spouse enjoys planning finances with you and doesn't understand the “big picture” at all, will you argue? Marital Mediation will explain the different thinking styles to you and your spouse and teach you each other's language.

If you wish to discuss Marriage Mediation©, please contact our office for a free consultation.

For 101 Divorce Survival Secrets, and free E-zine, visit . For one hour of free, private telephone coaching, contact



Susan Allan COO of The Divorce Forum™