Let Go

I am humbled on a regular basis as a mediator.  One occasion is when someone acts on the power to let go.  Not an easy thing to do.

In a recent mediation over alleged pregnancy discrimination, the employer’s lawyer had his job cut out for him.  He’d have to overcome inappropriate comments in response to the plaintiff’s report of her pregnancy, soon followed by a suspiciously reasoned termination, among other challenges.  

One would expect the plaintiff, suddenly without income, effectively unemployable as she was visibly into her pregnancy, for reasons that were shocking to her, would hold a stalwart position at the negotiation table.

Instead, I saw her mind take over.  I saw the paradigm shift in her as she came to a conscientious and graceful decision to let go.  She reached a satisfactory outcome with her well-being very much restored.

It reminded me of a story…

A means of catching a monkey was placing a succulent nut inside a hanging wooden box with a hole just large enough to fit a monkey’s out-stretched hand.  Once the monkey formed a fist around the nut inside, though, it was unable to pull its hand back through the hole.  There the monkey would stay struggling and stuck because it didn’t realize the key to its freedom was to let go.

About Maria Hanna Joseph

Maria Hanna Joseph is Principal of Joseph Mediation. Her 25 years of experience in employment law, include 16+ of work and mediating for the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination which through which she has gained valuable insight into the MCAD, its practices and decision making. This, as well as her experience in plaintiff and defense litigation, with private and public sector clients, international and local business concerns, and in issues from harassment and discrimination, to noncompetition agreements, business operation, transgender workplace matters, retaliation and many others, lend her valuable perspective for understanding and mediating an array of legal and personal issues. In terms of volume, Maria has served more than 2,000 cases. Maria's practice has been honed with study of mediation at Harvard Law School's Program of Instruction for Lawyers, negotiation at Harvard Law School's Program on Negotiation, and in the disciplines of Transformative Mediation and Family/Domestic Mediation, which are significant assets in managing the personal nature of employment disputes, and conflict in general. Attorneys and parties know Maria as candid, pragmatic and persevering in her commitment to help them achieve meaningful settlements while keeping sight of their most important interests. The insight and creativity afforded by her experience and training are realized in the resolutions that manifest. These qualities, along with her demeanor and the trust she engenders, have earned Maria a reputation for being able to manage highly tense and fraught situations and individuals, and settle a wide variety of disputes and tough cases.
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