Episode 15 - Conflict Resolutions With Lisanne Iriks

podcast Nov 29, 2022
Do Divorce Right
Episode 15 - Conflict Resolutions With Lisanne Iriks
42:41
 

The Do Divorce Right podcast is dedicated to looking at the many different aspects of divorce,  interviews with women who have their own incredible divorce stories or those who can offer some great advice as you go through yours. Hosted by Becca Maxwell, a divorce coach and relational intelligence consultant, the focus here is to help you to find the strength and support to help you heal, feel lighter and in a better frame of mind to face the inevitable challenges of your divorce journey.

In this episode, Becca interviews Lisanne Iriks who is a conflict resolution specialist. She works in family and workplace mediation, helping clients to resolve conflict with compassion. She is specialist in assisting people in forging a route that will protect their assets, dignity, relationships, health, and the present and future of their children.

Listen to this episode with Lisanne whose mission is to reduce unnecessary suffering when it comes to conflict resolution.

You can find Lisanne at lifemediation.com.au

On Instagram @lisanneiriks_conflictexpert

On Facebook @Lisanne Iriks - Life Mediation

 

Audio Transcript

 

Becca 

Welcome to the do divorce right podcast. I'm your host, Becca Maxwell. And I'm here to help you transition through your divorce with ease and integrity, to not only survive the challenges of your divorce, but to thrive as you come out the other side of it with a much better life than you ever hoped possible. On this show, we talk about many different aspects of divorce, interview women who have their own incredible divorce stories, or those who can offer some great advice as you go through yours. The focus here is to help you find the strength and support to help you feel lighter, happier, more positive, and then a better frame of mind to face the inevitable challenges of your current journey.

Becca 

Okay, I'm really excited. Today I'm talking to Lisanne Iriks. Lisanne is a conflict resolution specialist. She's a mediator, she has been not even nominated, awarded family dispute resolution practitioner of the year for 2020. Right. And before that, there's nominations of finalists, Australian law awards, Australasian law awards, etc. So you're quite well accomplished Lisanne. And I'd love to know, so what percentage of the work that you do is dealing with family law, mediation and conflict resolution with families? And what percentage is corporate?

Lisanne 

It's been hard to tell because every week is a little bit different. What I would say in general, family mediation is it's more than more than 50%. So I do more family work than I do corporate work it just, like I said, some weeks I have. And you know, I've had like, sometimes a six month contract with a company or you know, but these are normally, normally I would mediate with families every week. So the exact percentage I can't really give you. But

Becca 

every family yeah. Okay.

Lisanne 

As well, so but it's both, but more mediations, more family mediations and workplaces. But I do a lot of corporate training.

Becca 

Got it? Well, I think there's oodles that our listeners are going to get out of this conversation. So I'm excited. I've prepped a couple of questions for you. But I'm sure that we're going to get more as well. And so given your experience, specifically helping separating and divorcing couples and families, how would you describe the behaviors of people going into that, that achieve the greatest success? Now, I totally understand success is super subjective, especially in this area, nobody will ask away thinking yeah, one. But yeah, what, what would you say are the behaviors that are leading to the best outcomes, perhaps?

Lisanne 

I think behaviors about that, you know, reflective capacity, I guess, as I call it, because sometimes we all don't behave that well. You know, I mean, I'm a human being so are you and I've done those things. And I'm like, Oh, I could have handled that better. And I think when people are really defensive, and they can't take any responsibility, and it's all the other person's fault, that normally doesn't really help conversations, it doesn't mean that you can bring up and make requests of other persons, or hey, can we do it this way? Because I don't think that works. But if everything comes from a blaming, kind of point of view, and it's all the other person's fault, and you haven't done anything, you are an angel. Nothing is ever you don't I mean, it's never been your fault. That doesn't work or how I explain it to my clients. I say, you know, I know that a lot of people have a not so great relationship with the word responsibility, because they feel that it means that for them, they're to blame, or, you know, we do it with kids. It's like, yeah, whose responsibilities and things like that. But when you really take responsibility, obviously, it gives you power to change the situation, I think that's the main thing that I talk to my clients about, one of the main things is like, then you can go, okay, because otherwise, if you are going to say, the other person is to blame, they have to change things for the for this to get better, then obviously, they have all the power. And if they decide they're never going to change, then you are now stuck. So being able to be reflective. And a reflection doesn't have to be that you're a doormat, it can also mean that you say, Well, I haven't been honest with you for a long time, and you'd be crossing my boundaries. And you don't even know because I didn't tell you or whatever it may look like. So yeah, I think that is a really important one. And the other one is really the child focus. And it's a really difficult one. But I think for a lot of people. I had some beautiful clients or suppliers this morning, and they were both like, well, we're not going to share Christmas because the kids would hate it. And they both agree with it. Not that I say People shouldn't say Christmas, but one of the parties used to be a kid and was carted around or Christmas. He said it's horrible. And I'm not saying people shouldn't share kids for Christmas. But I was really beautiful that both of them didn't think of their own needs because obviously as a parent, they both really wanted to see their kids on Christmas Day but they were both like listen, it's just not going to be pleasant for anyone involved and I don't I think that kids will like it. So, and it's a really hard thing to do, because we all have needs to but if you can really separate your needs from your kids needs, then I think the conversations are easier as well.

Becca 

For sure. Just on that first point, then about reflective capacity. I love that. Do you have any specific techniques that helped put your clients into that space? of reflection? Or building empathy? That kind of?

Lisanne 

Yeah, I think one of the things, we have an intake session in mediation, so you have a one on one with me first, or, and then we do, then we kind of do the joint session. So in the intake session, I guess one of the things I started asking is like, what has it been like for the other parent? And you know, how to think they feel about it? And are they a good parent or, and I think along the conversation a lot, because often people come to me, and they're like, and this happened, and that's happened, and people are angry and frustrated, or sad, or whatever the situation might be, but often the emotions run really high. And then to really get that because also, I have to make sure that I show empathy for that client, because they obviously are really going through that. So it's not invalidating their feelings. But, you know, kind of slowly but surely starting to go. So what is it like for the other parent? So if you're not working with someone, and you're doing this for yourself, you could ask yourself those questions, what what do you think it would be like for the other parent, often, I think people think that the other parent is having a good old time, and they're not suffering at all, and you're the only one in pain and 99% of the time, you know, I think the other person is in pain, even if they make the decision to separate, they are also going through turmoil. They are also their life is also upside down. So I think if you can start thinking about, you know, what would it be like to be there? Or what would be what would it be like to have to deal with me? Right, haha, that's a great one. Yeah. So so if you ask yourself these questions, and I think that's really helpful. That

Becca 

is, yeah, I do find it really challenging to build that empathy with somebody else, you know, when you're going through this, I find it hard for my clients to create that emfit empathy. And I do have a couple of techniques, but it's not always the most useful, useful use of our time, because I want them to focus on focus on their own emotional resilience, their own, you know, building of that resilience. So yeah, we don't often get into that space of empathy. But I also tried to shut down any ex bashing, it's just so unproductive, you know, any energy that you put out there that's against another party is actually just putting negative energy out there. It's just surrounding yourself with it. So I try and calm that down as much as we can, because it's really unproductive.

Lisanne 

Yeah, but I also find that from, from what you know, and I think our jobs are a little bit different. But for me, it's also if I let the client actually express it all, at least once and I really listened to it, then sometimes it also disappears, because I think people often has never feel heard by anyone, and they feeling like no one is getting their point of view. So I guess if you can get someone else's point of view, when it's also when you're working with them as or even if they're dealing with you or listening, you're dealing with your ex, if you really listen to them and get their point of view, I bet that afterwards, they're much more willing to listen to you. So so I kind of that's one of the things I do with clients, I can really tell the porter harder, and it's okay, how they feel. And then now what right, and it's simple interview. And the beauty of mediation is when you get to agreement, sometimes it depends on the role things are and depends how emotional things are. Sometimes in the beginning, I can only do like short term things and just easy solution and problem solving. And you're not digging too deep. And because things just have to calm down. Like one of the things that I see a lot of people who are just recently separated, you know, everything is thrown at them, and what are you gonna do with your financial situation? What are you gonna repeat, and everyone's like, whoa, so often I say to my clients, don't worry about that. Let's put an agreement in place for like, at the moment, for example, up until after Christmas until January until the school year starts. Let's just deal with that all the things we can deal with the interim finance stuff, not the long term stuff just for now. So everyone knows what they doing. Nothing is final. Everyone can just calm down, you don't have to communicate every day. There's no rush. There's no rush. But things have to be organized. If you have nothing in place, and the phone calls and the negotiation and everything. And before you know it sometimes and then lawyers get involved. And before you know this, father's restraining orders it God knows things go from zero to hero very quickly sometimes. And it's really good to cut all that down. And so maybe your first mediation, you don't do that much reflection work and whatever, you're just getting some things in place to get through it. And to not have more conflict, to have some space to heal, to grieve to get on your feet for the kids to know what they're doing. And then you go okay, now we're going to get our stuff together. And is this actually working? How do we all feel that we're not in the same house? How are the kids going well What kind of when do we actually want to make?

Becca 

You mentioned that each person gets an intake or you mentioned that there's an intake session first? Is that with each party or just with? Yeah, so you have a session with each side. Okay, that's great. So you get a great perspective of depth with each person before you come into the room together. Love it. You were talking about that that tension at the beginning. And so many of my clients come to me and fear right there, they're really in that space, they're concerned that they'll never be able to recruit finances, they'll never be able to get back on their feet again. And never be able to recover financially from the mortgage, which through a mortgage from a divorce, which I completely identify with everybody feels that way. But there are so many incredible success stories of, of getting through it, you know. So, in that space, I work with my clients on controlling their reactivity, building resilience, as I said, managing anxiety, working through their priorities you just mentioned about let's not try and resolve everything at once. Let's try and take it step by step. Would you have any suggestions or tools that you would recommend to somebody that might be going through that right now? Perhaps they're not in mediation, but they're just fearful and worried that everything's about to turn to cheat?

Lisanne 

Yes. Wow. So many things, I guess I was trying to think Go ahead,

Lisanne 

we've got going well, I

Lisanne 

think the one of the things to do is to get informed, right. And that sometimes can be difficult when you get emotional, but if you so so often, people come to me, and they say, we just need to sort out the house. So we need to, and it's like, well, it doesn't quite work like that. So to actually understand the system, so to speak. So you know, what people need to do is get their assets or liabilities schedule together, they need to figure out what they actually have. And in some relationship, also, one person always did the finances, and the other person has no idea what has gone been gone on. So they have a bit of a deeper steeper learning curve to go okay. But it is essential to actually go and otherwise you make decisions with a blindfold on, right? So it's about getting all that information. And then when you have all that together, so that's why I say put something interim in place to kind of everyone knows what's happening, who's paying the bills right now, who's living where do so things are ticking over. And no one is stressing out that they can afford stuff, because that's sometimes, I mean, of course, there are situations where people where that is just happening. And then we have to kind of, you know, put all the fires out. But let's just say that in a in a situation where everyone can just take it over until they make the agreement, they make their work it out. So then that emotion that fear can actually come down. So that will be the first step to make a short term agreements, where who's paying the bills, who's paying the mortgage? How do we pay for the kids until we have an agreement, so then that fear can sort of in there, you can actually think a bit clearer, then you go and work out what your assets and liability schedule is. So you actually know what you're talking about. And then you do need to get legal advice. And people do get get scared, and lawyers. But the thing is, No, first of all, go to good ones, my good side of good lawyers, they just give you multiple options. They say this is what you can do. And this is what you can do. And this is what you can do, and not just trying to rile you up. You know, people can always ask me, I know lots of good lawyers, and you know, you don't want to go to one that's not helpful. But to be able to find out what the range is, and then then you know, kind of what, you know, a question to ask a lawyer is like, if this will go to court tomorrow, what will be the likely outcome, and it's not because you're going to court. But there's a couple of things you need to know when you negotiate. So So for some people, it's a reality check, because they have a idea of how financial separation should go. However, the court disagrees, and fairly clearly, that's the system that you're in. So there's no point in trying to fight for something in mediation, or even when you're negotiating without a mediator, when you know, you're not going to get it in court. And you know, and then say, walking away angry and all that so it's just not strategically smart. Plus, if you go to court, it takes three years of your life and hundreds of 1000s of dollars, so it's not Yeah, and then But then and then when you have all that information, you kind of have an understanding of what you you know, so called entitled to whatever it might be, then to sit down and work out and you mentioned it before, like what am I priority, so a lot of my clients want to move on. A lot of my clients want peace of mind, all of my clients have kids together, so they still want to be able to co parents. So if you are going to drag each other through a horrible properties process, then that is going to impact your relationship and then you know what? So and what do you need as well so you know, do your homework have to say to my clients go and see with somewhere if you kind of want to leave and see if that's possible, like what are you going to earn? Do your budget so when you actually get and I noticed my son really overwhelming but you can do one step at a time and when you are really clear on what your budget is. And when you're going to have then you can make decisions in financial separation going okay, well I need this amount of cash because I if you want me to live near the kids school or whatever, not two hours drive away in some whatever suburb or these, you get a lot more clear on what you can and can't do. And yeah, yeah, I think that's really helpful. And the reality of it is, as well, separation often does change things and people, you know, walk away with less than what they had. And for some people, it changes drastically what kind of budget they have some people or doesn't, but that is also to deal with reality. And then when you get your own pot from the financial separation, then you can start making the decisions about how you want to move forward with that and and build yourself up.

Becca 

Yeah, that's one of my favorite parts of working with women is okay. What does the future look like now? So, you know, I'm dealing with working with somebody at the moment who has is at the end of the settlement of things, and she's decided she's ready to start imagining what life can look like. They're amazing. Yeah, it's a beautiful time. It's a beautiful time to work with somebody. And you mentioned just a moment ago about clients wanting to move on. And I worry a little bit when there's that urgency, like, I just want it over, I just want to be done with it. I worry about decision making capability, when you're in that space of just just be finished. Just you know, sign it off tape, whatever you need. What What advice would you give to somebody if they're just like I want it over? Is it?

Lisanne 

Yeah. Well, if you have kids, then the hard part is never will be over. Never kind of get your head around that. So you're always going to be so that's one thing that I kind of dropped there, Bob quite early as well, but even when you have agreements in place, that always be something to negotiate about, they'll always be something to talk about life happens. So it's a journey, it's not like doesn't mean that having agreements in place, it's not going to help however, saying that it will be over is unrealistic. So I'm talking to clients about you know, you're doing this now. And then obviously, we've talked about how you're going to communicate better and stuff like that, to see if it can be better with finances, that is a bit more finite, because obviously that does is it line in the sand. But what I say to people is, you know, you don't want to rush it, you don't want to drag it out, either. So it is important to you know, often I have to speed one client up and slow one client down, because everyone has different ideas, I this is going to go. But you just want to do it properly. This is going to impact your entire future for both the kids and for finances. So it needs to time that it needs you need to really think about it. And you just don't want to look back and five years time ago caught? What did I do there? So? Yeah, yeah. And I think, and I keep coming back to if you make those interim agreements that you don't feel that pressure so much, because then you know what's going on right now. And then you can free yourself up to go and what are we doing next. And when you get that information, you will get clearer and clearer as you go. And the other thing is, too, because I noticed that again, today in a mediation I had people don't like talking about finances, and they get extremely uncomfortable talking about money.

Becca 

Yeah, and so interesting. That's so true. Yeah, to

Lisanne 

get really comfortable. So if you've never done it before, to get comfortable asking what you need. And, and also, when you negotiate about your finances, like all the numbers on that whiteboard, they are not just numbers, they are people's entire lives on a whiteboard, their hopes, their dreams, their efforts there. So it's also thinking about, you know, what is the person that you're negotiating with what's important to them. And what's important to me, like, the other day, it was a financial mediation, but one of the clients just wanted to be acknowledged for something. And when we started negotiation, he was saying it needs to be this amount of money, and then another and then what I drilled down to if he just wanted it to be acknowledged, so that's what he did. If you'd want

Becca 

to create it, or yeah, whatever it was, yeah, yeah.

Lisanne 

So in the end, there was no money exchanged. Because of that, it was just an acknowledgment. And the other person didn't know that or didn't see that, or whatever, right. So it's kind of my job. So often, it's about acknowledging people's roles. So even one person might have stayed home with the kids. And that was really important, it's really valuable. And for another person, they might have brought in finances, that's also really valuable. And now you are separating all those things out. So the person that, you know, to have a really, this is not the case for a lot of people, but let's just give an example. You know, let's just say one person in three and $1,000 a year and the other person looked after case, and they hadn't done a job for 20 years, so often as his narrative about, you know, women clean men out or whatever. And I'm saying no, this person gets to got to do their job because the other person stayed home and they get to keep that income. The other person is now coming from doing all that valuable work in the family. And now they're gonna have to get on their feet and they will never get that earning capacity because it's not possible. So you know, so you made decisions as a couple and now you're going to have to untangle those and go How can we be Get out of here. And I think that's the mindset to have is how can we both get out of here. So our children have two households that they can live in, and they can sustain themselves. And and that's a very different mindset than coming in and going, I need what I need. Yeah, and I don't, I don't want to be screwed over, because that's how a lot of people feel. But it's

Becca 

the awful position of I want to screw that person over, I want them to have nothing. Which if there are children involved, that is an awful scenario to you don't want them to see one parent succeeding and the other having absolutely nothing and destitute.

Lisanne 

No, they have to live in both households. So then it's very, so So it's about like changing your mindset over that even though and that is not always easy when you're hurting. Right? If someone cheats, if you're just really devastated, or one thing that I hear a lot, and I totally get that, too, is that people say, I don't even want the separation. And now I have to do all this. And I have to move out. Are you for real? Yeah, I mean, and I have to separate my father's and I have to not see my children, this was not my decision. So it's all there. And it's all valid. That's the thing, right? There is nothing wrong with it. But in this in the process of separation, I guess you you want to get the support, like for whoever to get yourself centered. And then if it's about finances, I also say to my clients, I noticed it's the hardest thing I'm going to ask you today, but I need you to look at this commercially, because I know it's all emotional. But you are about to make some decisions and what I can't really say like that, but you know, it's I tried to prevent people from making decisions because of their emotions. And they're not often that smart, you know what I mean? And not because they're not smart people are just because they're run by their emotions, and they need to step away from it. And is look at, you know, these are the options. And what will be from a commercial point of view, the best decision

Becca 

center, how do you stay strong and protected? There's so much emotion going around, obviously, you can't help but absorb some of that. So how do you protect yourself,

Lisanne 

I exercise every day. It's something that's I'm really big on moving my body, it's kind of moving the energy through. So I exercise always early in the morning. But normally like today, I have clients until that five, and then I will go a friend of mines coming quarter past five, we'll go for a walk and a bush, I leave it behind, and then I can spend time with my family. The other thing is if it's something really difficult, because some cases I've really hard and emotional and I have feelings too. And I have children too, and I'm a human being. And some things it's something that is heart wrenching, like they really are into stories. And so I get help if I need to. So I can have people to talk to to say this, what I've dealt with today. And then some physical stuff, you know, jumping up or whatever shower, get rid of the day. And that's why my corporate work comes in as well. Because when I facilitate training and stuff, it's a very different job. So when I coach and I train the night at the moment, I'm training a group of mediators to set up their own business and mediation skills. So I do mix it up for that reason, because I think our family mediation five days a week, I think, emotionally, that would have been a bit much.

Becca 

It is it's about I do all of the things that you do. Exercise, maybe not every day, five days a week. But I always try to make sure I connect with at some point, whether it's just the barefoot, walk around my garden, get to the beach, but my feet in the sand. Just to get out of this headspace there's there's so much time spent absorbing other people's energy in this role that we need to be able to shake it off, I have a corporate job as well. It's completely different. That's a different thing.

Lisanne 

And when I say exercise every day doesn't mean I go to the gym every day, actually, my physio has told me I can no longer do that. But it means I move every day

Becca 

every morning. And yes, you know, have a bit of sweat a bit of movement. How did you get into mediation? What's your background?

Lisanne 

Well, I did a law degree. And I'm Dutch from origin. So I loved studying law. But I didn't really like the idea of being a lawyer. I don't know if that makes any sense. But I think in hindsight, if I would have had my time again, I loved doing it. And I actually really enjoyed my degree, but I probably would have studied psychology. So then I travelled around Australia and met my now husband and I did we came back to the Netherlands and I did a counseling degree for a year as well. And I do a lot of coaching education and a lot of personal development since 2006. And about to jump in. And of course next week. So since then, I've been doing a lot of work on myself and all those kinds of coaching skills. So when I realized I couldn't convert my law degree and I was already really, I wasn't that keen anyway. I mean, the universe was like, well, this all happening. I did, I was like, Well, what would be my ideal thing and mediation kind of really fitted the bill because there's a lot of counseling skills and it's really good to have an understanding of the law. drafting skills and all those kinds of things. But we kind of do neither we don't. We're not counselors, and we're not lawyers. And yeah, so I just got myself and because of my degrees I had, I could do all the education. So I just got myself educated. And then I got started door knocking, because it was very hard for me to get a first job and Wi Fi because I had no wi education, no Wi Fi experience. No one wanted me. So

Becca 

the first person that's told me that actually, I've only been in WA for two years. And everything I do is I brought with me essentially from Singapore anyway. Yeah. But you know, when I speak to people, they're like, how are you? How are you managing to start a business here? Or how are you managing all the books? It was a business, I already had one. Okay.

Lisanne 

Yeah, that's right. But I literally went door knocking on the terrace. And I was like, so my first mediation job for the Department of creative services. So I didn't victim offender mediation, which is very different space. Wow. And it's kind of evolved from there. So then I educated myself a fairly mediation, and I worked for nonprofits and lots of organizations to learn the skills, but also to understand Australian culture and to work with people when and then I've got my own business, and then it sort of evolved. And now I teach mediation at law school, and I train a lot of media is in in Australia. So it kind of evolved from there on, and

Becca 

are you appointed by the court at any point? Or do people come to you privately?

Lisanne 

made mostly privately? I mean, the lawyers refer to me counselors refer to me people find me online, and the court will send them back to mediation. And I don't think I've ever been mentioned in a court or maybe I have I haven't seen it, but the court will tell them to go mediate. And then they go, they come to me, so but it's not that the court says you have to speak to somebody. They might have been, but occasionally, general people come to me privately, they find me somehow. And I got Laura working with me now as well, because I'm only one person. And yeah, so that's really, it's really a great and I obviously make sure what she's really great about, I'm always there in the background as well to help out if need be.

Becca 

So I love that your you have your practice in mediation, but you're also teaching others how to be mediators, tell me a little bit more about what that decision was. And you just said they're all around Australia. So it's not just here in Western Australia. You're teaching? Yeah,

Lisanne 

well, I think it started with, first of all, I started lecturing at Medical University. And then I also did some stuff at ECU. So that was teaching law students, because one of my passions, so to speak, is to change the way we do law. And do so because I just think fighting, like the mindset of fighting for someone is, you know, is for me would be making sure they get an agreement and work things out and not go into the system, because the system is broken on many, many levels. But that's not how lawyers get trained. So that's kind of how I started teaching. And I really enjoyed that. And then at one point, I started teaching for the College of Law did the vocational diploma and family dispute resolution. So I started teaching the students how to become you know, a accredited family mediator, because you have to get yourself credited with the Attorney General's office and as a process and as training. So I'm one of the trainers for the College of Law. So that's Australia wide, but I used to be paired with them with COVID, it became Australia wide online. And then I realized there was a gap. So those people get their certification after six months, or nine months, or whatever it is. And then they want to go out on their own. But I don't know how, and quite frankly, you know, there's nothing wrong with those courses. But obviously, there's only so much you can do in that and there's to be able to work with people, there's a bit more involved. And, you know, you do role plays, you do things, but everyone has to be like, oh, man, now what I've, because I've been teaching those programs, I know exactly what's in it. And I also have a private practice, I actually know exactly what the gap is. So I developed a program called a mediation practice program where I train people in in a how to run a lawyer system mediation, how to deal with difficult clients how to deal with domestic violence. And so all like, it doesn't mean that none of these get discussed in those other programs. But there's only so much time and as a new property, how to do property settlement, because it's a very different process than from parenting. So all those they get all that but I also teach them in law, you know, have being a great mediator is amazing. But it doesn't mean you know how to run a business. So that is all about how to run a mediation practice. What do you need to have to have set up like, so I kind of

Becca 

share with a peer network as well? What's that? Does it become a peer network as well? Yeah. Well, they

Lisanne 

get to know each other pretty well. Yes, that's the other thing. So then they can call each other and they have difficult sessions or in the meantime and say, Hey, I'm dealing with this. Yeah, absolutely. So that's also the intention to create a bit of a community. And it's been really fun. Like I run it for the first time this year and they are loving it and getting great results. So in January, we'll finish up and then there'll be you know, the moment they're doing their logos and their websites and saying Yeah, it's really funny. And also, I guess it's so important for clients. For me, what's important for clients is I can be a bit of control, freak him out in practice, because I want people to get really good service. But I've learned that if I want to make a difference, I just need to teach others how to do it. Because it's, you know, it's really important for people that they really people need to be really held in this space and not judged and not they feel how they feel. And then gently be coached and try to help them to get to the other side, or at least move forward one way or another. And I think, yeah, I have a lot of empathy and want to say respect for my clients. So they share their stories with completing other stages. I have very difficult conversations, and they Yeah, they,

Becca 

and you're in a very intimate environment with them. Right, you are in the trenches, as they're discussing the breakdown of a fundamental foundation in their lives. Yeah, it's a tough time to be.

Lisanne 

Yeah, so I really want to make sure as much as I can, that they get to deal with lots of great practitioners around the country. So that's one of the

Becca 

one of the things I love about the coaching community is peer coaching, and even group coaching, I just think you learn so much from each other. That's why I was asking about the peer networking, because, you know, in isolation, they might be an excellent practitioner. But we can always learn we can always be better. I'm a big believer in continual Well, this

Lisanne 

morning, we had, we do a Monday market focus meeting where I get them all the focus on what they're doing that way. And one of them was a bit insecure about something other than what someone else piped up and like, you're amazing, like, you don't need any of this, you can just do it. And I was like, I this my work is.

Becca 

Another question, a practical question is what it's probably a bit like the question I asked earlier on what percentage of your clients will be like, there's no real answer to this. But what's an average length of time for it? How long does the mediation take? In reality, anywhere from you come? If you come to the meeting with pre discussed ideas? I'm sure it can be quite quick. But really, how long would a mediation realistically last you think?

Lisanne 

I think I'm quite efficient, because my clients don't hang around me for that long, to be honest. So we're doing one intake agent, it depends, of course, how quickly people walk in. And sometimes that in itself can be a bit of a battle, if people don't really want to engage and can be a bit of that can be. So that's why one point I got that if you don't engage by this one, then you know, you're not engaging. So that's always a bit tricky. But let's just say everyone has books in the intakes and a couple of weeks time, and then we're due to mediation, depending also on what people need to do if they're not ready. And they're both happy to go in. Because people need to get their advice and sorts of stuff I would get, it's been easier. Normally, people are ready for that quite quickly. But finances, sometimes we do need to go have them do the homework, otherwise, it's a bit of a waste of time and money. But then we parenting my mediations with our lawyers at three hours. And with lawyers, it's always half a day or full day. So if we do with lawyers, often we spend an entire day just numbing stuff out and then gets typed up and sign at the end of the day.

Becca 

They have to be presumably breaks apart come back together.

Lisanne 

Oh yeah, there's a lot of in and out of rooms. And sometimes at one point people that's the other thing with mediation, you don't even always in the same room. Sometimes I go in between there can be reasons for what people cannot be in the same room. But if it's a three hour session with parenting, I think you get a long way. So often my mind will allow and that time, or they do part of it and come back and do something and then go and test it out and come back a couple months later to see how it worked. Or I don't sometimes take two sessions, but most of my clients, I would say it's one session for parenting, which I think it'd be rare. I think most most most it is. And then for finances, it's similar, like it's a half a day with lawyers or full day with lawyers. And then I do three hours. Sometimes we need two sessions, but normally not more than that. Like I hardly ever have more than two sessions. And again, often in one session, if you do the right preparation, that in three hours of conversation, you can get

Becca 

the right preparation and the right mindset, presumably there's the right behaviors. Yeah,

Lisanne 

that's right. But also sometimes it might be right, everyone knows, after three hours, they're not going to agree. Yes. And that can also be an outcome or that they partly agree because one of the things you can do mediation, it doesn't even mean it's not successful is that you narrow the issue down. Let's just say clients agree on everything. They have an agenda, you have an agenda, and they agree on six points, but not the seven. Well, then if they only have to go to court over that little bit, it's not that long. And it's not that and I always say to him, don't throw the baby out with the bathwater. There's just one point you really cannot agree upon. You have a different view on on, but it doesn't mean you're bad people. And I actually often find that when people go away and think about it often that gets settled anyway, but otherwise, they go so so it doesn't it shouldn't take forever. Sometimes it's more difficult to get the actual mediation planned and have that could have happened because people are working away and there's holidays and this toughen

Becca 

up your employees. Yeah. And would it be fair to say best case scenario is avoiding court?

Lisanne 

Oh, without a doubt, like I am, you know, I think called as an absolute last resort. And I actually did some research this year, I think it was. And I interviewed a lot of I put some things out and asked people to do safe conversations with me. And I interviewed everyone from being just separated from people who are doing a $50,000 in court proceedings. And I kind of got the the general because I actually put all the answers in a spreadsheet, and I had a look at what you know, was there a common theme, and one of the things that people who were in court and doing all that they were all like, if we would have done something, if someone would have helped us in the early days, I don't think we ever would have ended up here, or I don't know how we ended up here. And I wish we didn't, I didn't speak to anyone who was in court, it was like, Well, this is fantastic, is emotionally and financially draining. And the other thing, what happens is you give your entire life out, you say to a magistrate who would try and do their best they can, but they get information or they get it, they don't get some information, they don't get it. And they get to make a decision about your family. And you might walk out with something that no one likes. So I'm always saying you guys, let the expert on your family, you're the expert on your case, you're the expert on your finances. So you know best how to make this work. And courts should be it is useful for some last resort. Yeah, for some people, it's necessary. Like I'm not against it, I had clients that I have had said to some of my clients do you need to go to court, this is not going to set up. For me to say that people know, I'm fairly serious, because I'm always trying to keep them out of there. But I have had clients that the other party just did not want to give them access to their kids. There was no way there was no up and down, we tried to resolve 20,000 concerns. And every time there was a new concerns that were going on, do you want him or her to have access? And they're like, No, not really, so that you know what you're dealing with. And then you need to go and have someone make them do it. You know, sometimes you just have to. But even if you go to court, this is something I want to let people know, you can always come back to mediation, I have had so many people that have gone to court, they couldn't agree and then before trial, so I do a lot of late intervention, we call it they come back because they realizing what chord means because people watch a lot of TV, and they don't know what it actually means anything. They're gonna get validated by the magistrate or anything like that. None of that has got to happen. So and then we mediate again. And so as soon as you finish, and you make an agreement, you just let the court now and they go. Great. See you

Becca 

later. Happy. Yeah. Happy you've done the work. That's right. Yeah. Yeah, staying out of the court system. So important for all of the reasons you mentioned, you know, that it's sort of laying at any time, the cost. And I always make a

Lisanne 

joke to my clients. So you can all pay up for your own children's private school fees, or you pay for your lawyers, children's private school fees, which one isn't going to be?

Becca 

Excellent. That's so true. I my divorce happened in Singapore. So it was an international divorce, which is tricky in all kinds of ways. Yeah. And that's why I was asking you about, you know, court appointed mediation, because there you're given somebody and you have to go and see that somebody, whether you like it or not, but you don't get to choose necessarily who you get the visa, you just turn up and they're there. But because of the expense of things, I ended up representing myself, I wrote my own documents, I had to file I had to learn the international law system because I couldn't pay my lawyers private school fees. That's wasn't gonna happen. And

Lisanne 

even and then you lucky that also, it's not maybe lucky to do it in that moment, but they you couldn't could understand it, right? Because there's so many people who just did they're from a different country or they can't even understand but self representing actually helps or not, there's more than more than 50% of people self represented the family lost

Becca 

in Australia. Interesting. Look, I would have much preferred to spend that time educating myself in anything else like literally anything else. Absolutely.

Lisanne 

But what I'm trying to say that I'm not against court or against lawyers, I actually love working boys when they when lawyers have the right intention. And you know, a lot of them are working family law do because otherwise I would do commercial or something else. Not everyone because not I think I think everyone has the right intention. I think some people just have the mindset like I said before, that they think fighting for client looks different than what I think fighting for client looks like. Because I've seen some atrocious stuff happens in mediation and just blows my mind. And I'm just like, you just you just blew up this entire session, the clients almost there and because of you then I go into court fantastic. But in general lawyers are really great, but that but I think what I want clients to understand if people were listening to understand is that you are the boss of your life. So the lawyer is there to give you legal advice. It doesn't mean you have to follow it or you have information or you can say Will I get that but I'd rather do this as long as it's within the realm of what the court would accept, of course. And also with mediators, I will say to all my clients, we all go away, we walk out of this room, you can move with their own life, to our own problems, but you guys are going to be stuck with whatever you agreeing on, you're going to be stuck. It's all easy for us to say what you need to be doing. So and I think some people won't want one hand everything over to so what do you think I should do and as a mediator candidate anyway, but you know, I need to talk to my lawyer to make sure I'm I can make a decision. And then I'm sometimes wondering, I'm like, well, the legal advisors important, but just think about what's important to you what's you know, and leave, let the fear thing go, because there is no fear fears or perceptions. From whose point of view and so what is workable, and what's gonna, what can I live with? And you know, just get on with it.

Becca 

Yeah, let's tie a ribbon in that, like we're done, and start building that beautiful life that we were talking about. Yeah, start with where you're at and in, move up so brilliantly. Asana. Thank you so much. It's been excellent having you on this podcast. I've so enjoyed your chat, our chat and all of your advice. I love what you're saying about reflective capacity. And couldn't we all just work on that better? Even mediation? Yeah, I think that'd be my new man.

Lisanne 

My husband sometimes those negative capacities, surely.

Becca 

He must love that. I bet he loves that.

Lisanne 

Yes, absolutely. Okay. You're the conflict resolution expert.

Becca 

Thanks. So listen, how can people find you I'll put it in the show notes. But in case people are listening and want to take their own notes,

Lisanne 

well, I got this lifemediation.com.au is my website. I'm on Facebook, on Instagram on Instagram. it is @lisanneiriks_conflictexpert. And I have a podcast conversations to cut the conflict as well as a lot of I put so there's so much information there on how to resolve conflict, how to negotiate how to do so have a look. There's a lot there. So there's a lot of free content for people to have a look at and Adaline LinkedIn as well. So yeah, my name is pretty rare. So type it in and you'll find me

Becca 

Lisanne Iriks Yeah. Beautiful and Asana. Thank you so much. It's been great chatting with you.

Lisanne 

Thank you so much for having me.

Becca 

Thanks for listening. I hope you took something of value out of this episode. I'm your host, Becca Maxwell. And you can find me on the web at dodivorceright.com or on Instagram at dodivorceright. I look forward to connecting with you there.

SUBSCRIBE NOW
SUBSCRIBE NOW

Stay connected with news and updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.