Annette Nay, PhD

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Defining the Issues
Annette Nay, Ph.D.
Copyright 2003

Define the issues:

  1. Get specific.
  2. Break down the problem into its basic parts.
  3. Use language that is understood by all.
  4. 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."
  5. Separate people or personalities from the basic problem.
  6. Define a win-win situation for both parties.
  7. Identify the problem and define it clearly.
  8. Word the problem in such a way that both sides except it.
  9. Post this in a prominent place.
  10. A major problem may have various parts. Label these under the major problem as parts a, b, c, and so on.

Reference: Options Unlimited (1990) Mediation.

Other Mediation Articles:


 


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