Happy Thanksgiving (and some Ruffled Feather Avoidance Tips)

Wishing you a very
Happy Thanksgiving Day!

Ruffled Feathers Avoidance Tips (Because, Holidays…)

  • When you feel the temperature rise, wait a beat or two and take a breath with each.  Ask yourself whether a response is going to improve the circumstances, or if it can wait.  “This, too, shall pass” gets help from letting time do its part.  
  • When someone raises a prickly issue, memory or unsettled matter, have a few subject-changing topics to ask about, or kid-friendly jokes at the ready to redirect the conversation. 
    • Ask about vacation plans or recent trips.
    • Ask whether there are pictures to share of new family members (weddings, children, grandchildren, pets…).
    • Tell a “Why did the turkey cross the road” joke.  (To prove it wasn’t chicken; Because it was free-range…)
    • Start asking for a “gratitude” from each of the people you’re with;  include a talking (“bread”) stick that’s passed to each person whose turn it is to answer. 
    • Compliment a dish or effort someone made, and ask them about it.  
  • Suggest a toast to making the day a “white flag day” if something starts to escalate. Let people know you hear them, even if you disagree, but offer the truce of agreeing to disagree and keep things festive for the day.  


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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