An article in TIME Magazine, entitled “How Your Siblings Make You Who You Are”, explains how brothers and sisters affect your negotiation style and skills. My sister actually brought this piece to my attention, when she attempted to use it to take credit for my career in ADR. The article states that on average, siblings between the ages of 3 and 7 engage in some kind of conflict 3.5 times an hour. There is a lot of learning that occurs in this process, particularly about how conflicts, once begun, can be settled. Studies have shown that children who practice the best conflict resolution skills at home carry those abilities into the classroom… and presumably into the workplace later on in life. The theory is that unlike your friends, you’re stuck with your siblings and it is that permanence that makes them so valuable as a rehearsal tool for negotiations later on in life. Peace is made when one child offers a toy or breaks into a giggle… and somewhere in there, the foundation is laid for the joke that breaks the office silence or the husband that poses a nonchalant question to his wife to signal that a fight is over. Having now read the article, I wholeheartedly agree that my sister provided me with very thorough dispute resolution training as a child (and vice versa) and I’m happy to give credit where it is due! (See TIME Magazine, Canadian Edition, July 10, 2006.)