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Never Cut What Can Be Untied

*Never Cut What Can Be Untied* 

Ropes can make knots and knots are useful – think fishing, rappelling, rope ladders and bows. Learning to tie shoelaces is one of our early achievements. When we marry, we “tie the knot”.

On the flip side, when we are anxious, we can feel all “tied up in knots”. The hangman’s noose is a knot. The Gordian Knot symbolizes an intractable problem. And most parents have struggled to get knots out of long hair.

In our work as collaborative professionals, the relationship is the rope. We know that a good knot can strengthen connection, build trust and support a lot of weight.  But, when trust and connection are challenged, separating couples face a challenging decision: 

“Do I cut and run, or do the work of untangling this painful knot?”

Have you ever tried to force a knot to untie, only to make it worse? Have you ever tried to “sell” collaborative practice to clients, only to meet resistance? It’s kind of like forcing the knot. We are most effective when we create a comfortable space for our clients to choose. And when they choose collaborative practice, we can help them do the work of untangling and untying, so that their rope can be put to a new and better use.

*quote from Joseph Joubert 1754-1824*