Negotiate to Resolve Conflicts:

"All of us engage in many negotiations during a week but that doesn't mean we become better at it. To become better we need to become aware of the structure and dynamics of negotiation and we need to think systematically, objectively, and critically about our own negotiations. After engaging in a negotiation, reflect on what happened and figure out what you did effectively and what you need to do better.

There is no one "best" style; each of us has to find a style that is comfortable for us. Yet, everyone can negotiate successfully; everyone can reach agreements where all sides feel at least some of their needs have been satisfied. This involves a lot of alertness, active listening, good communication skills, great flexibility, good preparation, and above all it involves a sharing of responsibility for solving the problem, not a view that this is "their" problem.

To summarize the most important keys to successful conflict resolution:

*bargain over interests, not predetermined positions
*de-personalize the problem (separate the person from the problem)
*separate the problem definition from the search for solutions
*try to generate alternative solutions; try to use objective criteria as much as possible
*reflect on your negotiations; learn from your successes and mistakes"

Read more in this excellent negotiations overview from Professor E. Wertheim.

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