By: Christen Ritchey

In one of my recent collaborative cases, the parties were stuck negotiating between two numbers.  They were not far apart, certainly not far apart enough to warrant litigating or even mediating.  They were stuck and dug into their positions.  Our very experienced team with excellent professionals was having difficulty getting them to move from their dug-in trenches.  The settlement facilitator had a private meeting with both spouses.  She reported back that she allowed them to each voice their concerns, discuss their perception of why what he/she was asking was fair.  Each of them was heard by the other.  At the end of that meeting, she asked each of them to approach the rest of the process from a perspective of what he/she could give, rather than what he/she could ask of the other.  By focusing on what each was able to give we were able to resolve the case.  Interestingly we ended up on one of the parties number, but that party was able to give on other issues that made the resolution possible.

This case reminded me of the principles taught by Bob Burg and John David Mann in The Go-Giver.  If you have never met Joe in this parable be sure to check it out to see what he learns on his journey to uncover the following five principles.

  • The Law of Value:  Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.
  • The Law of Compensation:  Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.
  • The Law of Influence:  Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.
  • The Law of Authenticity.  The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.
  • The Law of Receptivity:  The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.  

 

By focusing on theses principles and on what you can give rather than what you can get, you can achieve success in business and life in a much more fulfilling way than by being a go-getter.  You do not have to accumulate wealth or possessions to give something to someone.  Everyone has the ability to give.  It could be as small as a smile or a helping hand.  Even though we are in a service industry, a lot of times it is easy to forget we are here to serve.  

I challenge everyone to think about what you can give – in your relationships at home or at work, in your practice with your clients, employees and other professionals.  I anticipate the results will surprise and please you.  

Christen Ritchey is a family law attorney and partner with Johnson, Ritchey & Feldman in Boca Raton, FL. She is the secretary of the South Palm Beach County Collaborative Practice Group, Board Member of FACP and the Co-Chair of the FACP Outreach Committee.