Spouse & Date Abuse
Coping With Assault
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Stories With A Point
Copyright © 1999
Annette Nay, Ph.D.
- Frame issues in terms of the issues or relationship between the parties rather than in terms of a person's attitude or behavior.
- Wrong: Let's talk about your negative attitude to anything we propose.
- Better: Let's talk about how we can evaluate proposals.
- Frame issues so they cannot be answered in a "yes " or "no" manner.
- Wrong: Should the staff have three additional days off.
- Better: What do you think about the issue of days off.
- Frame issues as questions or problem statements.
- Example: "How can we......?" Or "What can be done to.......?"
- Frame issues so that multiple solutions are possible.
- Wrong: Who will have use of the school car?
- Better: Let's talk about the issue of transportation needs.
- Separate issues or problems from people. De-personalize the conflict.
- Wrong: Let's talk about John's exploiting the grievance procedure.
- Better: Let's talk about making the grievance procedure more effective.
- Frame issues so that they are joint problems.
- Wrong: How can the administration better inform teachers about policy change.
- Better: How can we improve the communication process when there are policy changes.
- Frame issues in terms of future relationships rather than past guilt or innocence.
- Wrong: Could we decide who was at fault for the impasse in our last negotiations?
- Better: Could we discuss how to develop a procedure for negotiations that can avoid impasse?
- Frame issues within areas where people have authority and resources to make a decision and have it implemented.
- Ex.: The issue of inadequate state support for education cannot ease an issue in negotiations.
- Frame issues in a manner that does not threaten any party's sense of self or dignity.
- Wrong: Let's talk about the insensitive way the principle gives criticism.
- Better: Let's talk about the feedback process between the principal and the teachers.
- Frame issues in an objective and neutral manner.
- Frame issues in specific terms.
- Bread up broader issues into more easily handled sub-issues.
- Wrong: Let's talk about the school board-teacher's union relationship.
- Better: Let's talk about the contract negotiation process, union participation, open school board meetings, and union-school board communication between negations.
- Frame issues so as to encourage creative problem solving.
- Frame issues as briefly as possible.
- Ask the parties to confirm that the framing of the problem is accurate.
- Based on the work of H. Gadlin
- Cloke, Kenneth, (1990) Mediation: Revenge and the Magic of Forgiveness. Center for Dispute Resolution, Santa Monica, CA
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