There are No Experts Only Opinions By Don Sinkov{3:18 minutes to read} I watched a YouTube video recently where a Norwegian scientist talked about global warming. He had all the charts and graphs showing the hard scientific evidence that said there is no global warming. The last 15 years of satellite images show there is no significant change. Carbon dioxide is good for plants, and the earth’s temperature really has not changed. So here is a scientific expert who is saying the opposite of what 97% of the other scientific experts have said. Who should we believe?

I read a 20-year study on child development and was very impressed by a lot of the research. Then I read another study that said the 20-year study was completely wrong. So one expert discredits the other expert. Who is right?

These examples reminded me one of the conferences I attend for ongoing mediation skills. They said this guy is fantastic. He writes books. He lectures. He gets paid a lot. For me he was just another expert at a conference talking about how their particular method works, and how great it is. When I first started mediating divorces, I was very enthused about learning new skills, but as the years went on, I realized that  their mediation style might work for them, but that doesn’t mean that you can apply in your own practice.

The initial mediation training is a 30 hour course. It’s kind of like an introduction to mediation, which really doesn’t equip you to begin mediating divorcing couples. When I began meditating, I was fortunate enough to have a partner who was an attorney. Following the 30 hour course, we had our first mediation. We didn’t understand pensions, real estate transfers, tax consequences, etc. We couldn’t do anything. We were in big trouble. In fact, we felt so guilty that we did the mediation for free.

So 13 years later, I realize that there are no experts, only people that have opinions in their particular field and a style that works for them. (OK, maybe accountants are experts because they follow the tax code.) For me, experience has really been the best teacher. Now I know what works for me and I integrate those skills into my practice.

Becoming a good mediator is really about finding the right tools, and the style that fits your personality. Once you have done that, then you can start helping other people. Until then, not so much.

So don’t rely on the so called experts because they are really not. They are just people who have found the tools and the right style of mediation that works for them.

About Don Sinkov

Don Sinkov Your Divorce Mediator Westchester County, NY Putnam County, NY Phone: (914) 588-6258 eMail: