235 – Finding Common Ground to Grow the Purebred Dog Fancy


Common Ground Brings Everyone to the Table

Debra and Jezebelle

Debra Hamilton helps clients work through high stakes, high intensity situations through the use of mediation.

Attorney Debra Hamilton finds common ground in the most challenging situations. Whether in interpersonal, transactional, public or even adversarial relationships, the solution, Hamilton suggests, is simple. Just listen!

Can’t we all just get along?

“We are so passionate as a sport that we sometimes can’t find common ground on which to speak with people who disagree with us,” Hamilton said. “How do we carry on a conversation that helps the greyhounds, for example?”

Stop, drop and roll

Hamilton has an excellent and easy to remember format for working through difficult conversations.

  • *Stop* talking and listen. Keep yourself grounded. Breathe a lot. No name calling. Pause before talking or typing.
  • *Drop* the need to be right. You are right, this is how you feel. Nobody can tell you you’re wrong. You’re just listening to someone else talking about what they think is right. If you listen, you might find something to support your point.
  • Let what they say *roll* off your back. Don’t wallow in the mud. When people are angry, if you engage with them, they aren’t going to give up the ghost. If you listen to understand, they may come back after thinking and acknowledge your points.
  • Listen to understand, not reply. Think about consequences of all sides of decision.

“It’s important that everyone has the opportunity to talk. If everyone feels as if they are heard, respected and understood, a solution is going to come out of it,” Hamilton said. In Colorado participants in a workshop “took legislation off table so they could have more conversation.”

Entrenched positions

In extreme situations, find a neutral party in the argument, Hamilton encouraged. Somebody with “no skin in the game.” Ensure a situation in which the parties are not simply for and against. The conversation needs facilitation in these instances.

“Animals bring out the most potent emotions in people,” Hamilton said. “They will go to the mat for their animals. Normal, sane people will take up the gauntlet and not listen to another point of view.”

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