We had the good fortune of connecting with Winter Wheeler and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Winter, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
My work-life balance looks very different from one day to the next! I work the equivalent of more than full-time and I am married with four children who are ages 3, 5, 7, and 9. My husband works a lot as well, so flexibility is key to keeping my family and businesses operating smoothly! Because of all this though, it is nearly impossible for me to create a firm schedule. Instead, I must have a lot of room to accommodate changes on relatively short notice.

There are many, many days when I have to break my own flexibility rule. I am a mediator, which means I help people resolve legal disputes by helping feuding parties communicate and ultimately reach a resolution. If parties are making progress, but negotiations are moving slowly, we don’t stop and take a break because I need to go pick up kids or go home to make dinner. It just literally cannot work that way, so there are days when my career has to take a front seat simply because that day’s case demands it. Because there is almost no way for me to know in advance when I’ll be done mediating a case, I rely very heavily on my husband to pick up all of the slack on those days.

I am also the creator and host of a biweekly podcast, The Mediate Now™. The show also takes up a good amount of what would would otherwise be free time, but I feel good about being able to share interviews, stories, and tips on how we can all lead our best lives. Giving up some free time in exchange for that is well worth it to me! It actually helps to give me a sense of balance that I otherwise would not have.

Of course there are also days when I know I have to support my husband’s endeavors over my own. Those days are typically easier to plan given the nature of his business, so I can arrange to take a day off or to have child care assistance in advance.

I spend as much time as I can with my kids. Not only is it good for them, but it fills my soul and reminds me of why I work as hard as I do. Throughout the pandemic, I was able to help my kids with their schoolwork whenever they needed. I was also sure to eat meals with my entire family whenever possible.

I try hard to make sure that I actually do get some personal time each day, though. Typically, that includes up to two hours of meditation and exercise in the morning before everyone else is up.

I’m an exceptionally busy person, but each of my endeavors is truly a labor of love and I am so grateful for all I have!

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
My business focuses primarily on my role as a mediator. I help people communicate effectively and efficiently while helping them resolve disputes they may have. I am different from other mediators because I have developed my own methodology called The Four Cornerstones of Mediation™. The Four Cornerstones of Mediation™ are: (1) emotional intelligence; (2) cultural knowledge; (3) cultural immersion; and (4) genuine empathy.

I developed this methodology simply through realizing that my natural talents and way of dealing with uncomfortable conversations in my prior professional settings readily applied to mediation. I then realized that The Four Cornerstones of Mediation™ can work in every aspect of life, including with my friends, family, and children.

This methodology is the subject of my first TEDx talk, “Mastering the Art of the Uncomfortable Conversation,” in which I explain how I meet each and every one of my clients at their social-emotional level. I focus very heavily on the parties’ emotions, states of being, cultural differences, and anything else that may be affecting their ability to move on from the issue at hand.

I was busily building the mediation business when I developed The Four Cornerstones of Mediation™. I was already providing workshops, webinars, and educational classes on mediation techniques, so it has been relatively easy to incorporate the trademarked methodology into my business-generation model. Additionally, I had already started my podcast, The Mediate Now™, which has been a true blessing as a ready-made vehicle through which to share my message.

While the TEDx and the podcast have been great for growing my business, they have made my real goal just that more attainable, and that is to spread the message to the world that the mediation principles by which I live can improve everyone’s lives!

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My favorite place to hang out and have drinks is The Lawyers Club of Atlanta. It’s a private, members-only club for attorneys located in the Penthouse of a Midtown skyscraper. The Club is gorgeous and the views are better. The drinks are top notch and there is always someone new and interesting to meet!

Across the street from The Lawyers Club of Atlanta is The High Museum and the Alliance Theatre. Both are places that are must see for any visitor to the city!

I also like to pass time at the Bar at the Ritz Carlton Downtown. It’s quiet and people aren’t likely to bother you while you’re there. They also have excellent bar bites.

Alma Cocina restaurant is a favorite of mine that is also downtown and is actually just a walk through through the lobby of The 191 Peachtree. Excellent food and a great happy hour!

For seafood and American fare, I prefer The Optimist and Chops Lobster Bar.

We would finish the food tour with Sushi Hayakawa. It’s a not-so-hidden gem! Opt to sit with Chef Hayakawa at the sushi bar. It’s an experience everyone should have at least once!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I rely on an online women’s networking group to help keep consistently motivated. Being a wife, mother, and owner of a number of business is exhausting and there are times when I feel overwhelmed. I know that I could cut back or eliminate some of my work, but I know that ultimately, doing so would make me unhappy. These women are always around when I need a boost of encouragement and confidence. I love them dearly for it! I hope I’m as helpful to them in their daily lives as they are in mine.

Website: www.winterwheeler.com; www.themediatenow.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/themediatenow/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/winterwheeler/

Twitter: @winternicole

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/themediatenow

Youtube: https://www.ted.com/talks/winter_wheeler_mastering_the_art_of_the_uncomfortable_conversation

Other: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdeoSy7ydQuLh_o7CwHPozw

Image Credits
Nick Nelson

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutAtlanta is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.