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Defining the Issues
Annette Nay, Ph.D.
Copyright © 2003
Define the issues:
- Get specific.
- Break down the problem into its basic parts.
- Use language that is understood by all.
- Separate the problem from participant's personal interests and positions to get the whole picture. You can find what the answers are by answering the questions Why, What, and How.
- Interests are principles, values, or beliefs which needs to be satisfied in order for a dispute to be resolved desirably. This is the "Why."
- Issues are thoughts that a person believes must be addressed, protected, acquired, or distributed in order to resolve a conflict. This is the "What."
- Positions are ideas or ways to settle the conflict. This is the "How."
- Separate people or personalities from the basic problem.
- Define a win-win situation for both parties.
- Identify the problem and define it clearly.
- Word the problem in such a way that both sides except it.
- Post this in a prominent place.
- A major problem may have various parts. Label these under the major problem as parts a, b, c, and so on.
Options Unlimited (1990) Mediation.
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