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Divorce law blog

Using iMA in mediation: are you spontaneous, controlling, cautious or precise?

09/10/2018   By: Alison Bull

It’s incredibly helpful to know what someone’s communication style is.   And here at Mills & Reeve that’s exactly what we can help identify using an online questionnaire called iMA.

iMA is based on the observation and understanding of the differences between people, then learning or adapting our own behaviour to connect with an individual on their wavelength.  When this happens communication, trust, understanding and co-operation go up, and stress and tension go down.  Better communication can help out sort disputes, build better relationships, help you to get on with people and make mediation much more effective and efficient.

So, how does it work?  You (and your ex) answer 10 multiple choice questions which are used to identify your natural communication style under stress.  You will be one of the following:

  • High Blue – warm, friendly and supportive, high blues develop strong networks of people, are excellent team players and are good seeing a project through to its conclusion.
  • High Green – serious, analytical and task-orientated, high greens enjoy getting tangible results and will research, make comparisons and determine risk before taking action.
  • High Reds - goal-oriented go-getters, high reds take a no-nonsense approach, working quickly and impressively by themselves.
  • High Yellows – outgoing, positive and enthusiastic, high yellows have a lot of energy, enjoy meeting people and have great influencing skills.

In mediation, your mediator can then use that information to adapt their communication with both you and your ex, and use that information to help you communicate with each other.  For example:

  • they may use short, to the point emails or phone calls with high reds;
  • they are more likely to pick up the phone to a high yellow and have a short chat before addressing the issue that needs to be discussed;
  • they will probably send very detailed emails to high greens;
  • they will speak to high blues who prefer more informal, personal contact.

Finding out about how others (and how we) communicate when under stress gives our mediators another tool to:

  • talk about the differences between a couple in a non-critical way;
  • appreciate their own and others’ strengths and vulnerabilities;
  • put people together who “speak the same language” naturally – for example, matching a couple or an individual with the right professional to help them.

Interested in finding out more about iMA and how it can be used to help you in mediation?  Speak to Alison Bull or watch her here!  And look out for further blogs from the team during National Mediation Awareness Week (8-11 October 2018) both here and on www.cohabitation-law.co.uk explaining what mediation is and the ways in which it could help your family.

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