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Mythbusting — everything important happens in the meetings


Everything important in the collaborative process happens in the meetings.


Not everything takes place in the face to face meetings: meetings are only part of the process.

Preparation of the client is a vital component of collaborative practice. Not just to go over facts and the impact of options and other hard content, but to prepare the client emotionally and manage their expectations and explain what they can expect in the next meeting. A lawyer may give advice to their client outside meetings, but can and should repeat that advice in the meetings A lawyer should also indicate that the other lawyer may have a difference of opinion: It is part of preparing clients for what to expect.

Debriefing is equally vital, perhaps more so, both with the professionals on the team and also with the client. Debriefing is used to manage expectations, to explain, to confirm the next steps, to pulse check whether the collaborative process is working for the clients and to help with formation of agendas for the next meeting. It can also enable the professionals to provide honest feedback and support to their colleagues.