By David Gould
Preparing for effective negotiations requires you to shift your focus from your story of the past and what happened to you to the future and its possibilities for resolution. When you do this life simply works better.
Follow these Eight Steps to prepare for your negotiations:
- Recognize and accept that you have a potential conflict as early as possible. You know you have conflict when you cannot agree on something and it really matters.
- Acknowledge your emotions but do not let them control you.
- Explore your own story to separate what happened, the facts, from what you made them mean. Look objectively at your judgements, assumptions, and interpretations.
- Make your best guess as to how the other parties see the facts and what they make those facts mean. Put yourself in their shoes and unpack their story for facts and meaning.
- Compare and analyse what you gleaned from steps 3 and 4. Identify where the facts and the meanings are in conflict. Consider what could be done by you, and together with the other side to confirm the facts. Agreeing on the facts or on a plan to establish the facts is an excellent basis for resolution.
- Based on your newfound clarity about both stories, identify the interests, needs and concerns that are most important for each party and list them. Those interests and needs are the building blocks of your options for future resolution.
- Reach out to the other party and invite them to meet with you. Share what you have done to prepare and why. Share your commitment to listen and learn from them
- Meet with the intention to have a dialogue about the future rather than a debate about the past. Listen first and reflect your understanding about what is important to them. Help them explore options that meet everyone’s interests and needs.
Get Help Early
You do not have to deal with conflict alone.
Family and friends may help you stay objective and focused on resolution. It’s not about getting them on your side.
Advice from your professional advisors such as accountants, estate and financial planners, lawyers and business coaches may be especially useful in keeping you on track towards future possibilities rather than focused on past grievances.
Depending on the nature of your conflict, lawyers, mediators, or conflict coaches can be retained. Just remember, earlier is always better.
To learn more about conflict resolution watch my webinar here: youtube.com/watch?v=sRUtH-odU5k&t=4s
To learn more about the services I offer visit: davidgouldmediation.com