What does technology have to do with communications, especially in a divorce?

Ninety percent (90%) of conflict is due to misunderstandings.  That’s just a “rule of thumb.”

We humans have invented this wonderful faculty of language but we really don’t know how to use it all that well.  Other stats: up to 70% of the information we get from another person has nothing to do with the words s/he uses.

Let’s talk about communications and divorce (and then I’ll tell you why my app is so genius.)

When I’m threatened, I can’t think too creatively. (Have you ever noticed that for yourself?) In fact, I don’t do much of it at all. Neither do you.

That’s because our right brains, where our imagination comes from, freeze when we feel threatened. Our brains undergo a sort of transformation when we feel endangered like…trying to negotiate asset settlements in a divorce…after collecting stuff together for decades.

When going through my divorce in 2011, one place where my ex- and I could connect was at the mediator’s office.  To figure out stuff about our split: the details.  That’s where I dreamed up iSplit Divorce: its first life was as a series of cards.  Each card represented an asset and its size was relative to the value of the asset: a big card for a house; a small card for my work trailer, etc.

When my ex- and I were moving the cards around, on the mediator’s coffee table, much like you can with iSplit Divorce’s icons, we didn’t have to talk.  I recall that we were, get this!, actually smiling.

Not having to use language and doing things with our hands instead has really helped us work through those barriers.  (Our mediator was fascinated, too!)

Because there wasn’t a lot of rational thought going on, the right brain got more engaged and, when it does, fear and the urge to flee, naturally fall away.

iSplit Divorce Main Screen

Here’s where technology can help facilitate communications: by helping us so that we don’t have to talk…so that we won’t have those probable misunderstandings.  The pictures, in some technologies, tell the story rather than the words.

 

 

 

George Moskoff is an innovator, social entrepreneur and humanist who brings 30+ years of business, consulting, education and startup experience to APG Mobile Applications.  With a masters in biochemistry, Moskoff approaches building socially-beneficial mobile apps as a scientist of human behavior.

2 comments

  1. Staff of Divorce Magazine Martha says:

    So often, we are told to resolve a conflict by “talking it over” with the person involved. Yet, many times, things get worse after a conversation. That’s because we have not been taught how to listen for gold or speak to make a difference, or that perhaps if we are not up to speaking and listening powerfully, we need to use another medium to communicate and interact with each other. Sounds like this app is a good alternative to speaking and listening poorly.

  2. Right brain = imagination. Limbic system = fear, anger. When the limbic system is engaged, the right brain shuts down so no matter how good my words might be, they might not be heard.
    Gurus like Jon Kabat-Zin teach how to slow down things enough to fully appreciate what’s going on in the moment.
    Often, the reason I’m fearful has nothing to do with the situation; it’s my fabrication based on old “tapes.”
    Thanks for the comment, Martha.

Leave a Reply