On shark week.

While these animal metaphors can be useful, we need to be careful not to reduce people to convenient stereotypes based on their behavior in a given moment.  We morph into different animals in different situations.  I strive for dolphin-like collaboration in much of my life, but the cable company somehow brings out my inner shark.

So while I’m still not buying the revisionist cuddly shark theory, I find it helpful to be aware that how people behave in a highly stressful moments is not a representation of the totality of their character.  A good mediator will help parties become three-dimensional beings in the eyes of their adversary….he or she will provide a safe space to let the menagerie roam swim, crawl, and gallop free.

Seriously though, don’t mess with sharks.  Get a load of this one:

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