Blog | November 6, 2014

Changing the Clocks and Putting out Fires

We just changed our clocks back and this means that many of us have also changed the batteries in our smoke detectors because firefighters encourage us to use the time change as a reminder to do so. This is a perfect example of managing and reducing the damage in the event of a fire.

What can we learn about conflict resolution from fire management?

First we need to diagnose the type of fire. For example, we don’t want to put water on a grease fire and make it worse.

Next, we need to know the right fire management strategy for putting out that fire. Sometimes we need to let a fire burn for a bit; other times we need to ‘put a lid on it.’ Sometimes, we need to pour lots of water on it; other times we need a specialized fire extinguisher.

Finally, we need to understand some fire prevention strategies to avoid future fires.

Collaborative professionals are trained in conflict diagnostics, management, and resolution. They are committed to helping put out fires rather than fanning the flames and making things worse. And they are committed to creating durable agreements that reduce the likelihood of future fires.

If there is the potential for a ‘fire’ in your separation or divorce, make sure you have qualified firefighters on your team. You can find any of our local collaboratively trained professionals at

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