We’ve previously discussed how we communicate in mediation, including the benefit of a talking stick when working with high conflict couples. It seems we are far from unique as reports have it that in the face of the government shut down last weekend, negotiations proceeded with the benefit of a talking stick. Democrats and Republicans managed to re-open for business fairly quickly, with promises to address border security concerns alongside protecting Dreamers. While the talking stick may have provided some space for each to speak and be heard, it seems the negotiations may not be as long lasting as we citizens had hoped. Nonetheless, as mediators, we are impressed that Senator Collins (R-Maine) brought such communication wisdom to the table.