Find Mediators Near You:

The Hummingbird

The other day, I opened one of the French doors in our house to let the dog outside where he proceeded to sun himself. Unbeknownst to me, a hummingbird took the open door as an invitation to come inside.  I did not realize it until an hour or  so later when I heard a noise coming from our skylight which is in the center of the house. The hummingbird was flying up against the skylight, trying to get outside. It flew back and forth along the width of the skylight and then at times, along its length, trying to get out. Sometimes, it would rest on the beams running the length and width of the skylight but then try again to break out to freedom.

To help it, I opened the double French doors on the second floor nearest the  skylight. All the  bird had to do was drop down a few feet beneath the skylight and fly out.   Yet, the bird did not see this way out to freedom. Instead, for the next  few hours, it kept flying the width and then the length of the skylight, trying to get outside by brushing up against the glass. At one point, I tried to help it by using a foam roller to nudge it towards  the open door, but to no avail.  It simply landed on a cross beam and stayed there.

I left it alone, figuring it would essentially find its way out. It did because  when I looked for it a few hours later, it was gone.

Many times, when trying to  resolve an issue, we keep urging  and coming back to the same proposed solution. Like the hummingbird, we keep flying the length and width of the skylight, hoping for a different result.  We keep  bumping up against the glass of the skylight, and thus meeting with  a lack of success. It is only when we look in a new and different direction – which for the hummingbird was to drop down a few feet in altitude- will we find the solution. That new path leads us to resolution, or in the case of the hummingbird- to freedom and the great outdoors.

…. Just something to think about.


Phyllis Pollack

Phyllis Pollack with PGP Mediation uses a facilitative, interest-based approach. Her preferred mediation style is facilitative in the belief that the best and most durable resolutions are those achieved by the parties themselves. The parties generally know the business issues and priorities, personalities and obstacles to a successful resolution as… MORE >

Featured Members

View all

Read these next


Advanced Negotiation Training

Consensus Building Approach by Larry SusskindThe Program on Negotiation (PON) at Harvard Law School just offered a Master Class in Negotiation for the first time. As one of the trainers...

By Larry Susskind

ICODR Podcast Episode 16: Guest is Dr. Tsisana Shamlikashvili, Moscow Based International ADR Expert

In this episode of the ICODR podcast, Ian interviews Dr. Tsisana Shamlikashvili, an international expert in ADR, international mediator, lawyer, neurologist and psychologist (with both medical and law degrees). She has been...

By Ian MacDuff

Escalated Dispute Resolution

Whenever an attempt to reach a conclusion to a dispute that could not be solved locally involves informal or formal intervention by a third party, all parties involved should be...

By Clive Johnson, Jackie Keddy