The Negotiator Magazine

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Each point of contention will carry with it three attributes which define its substance: 

1)  An issue and its surrounding circumstances which have resulted in, contributed to, or otherwise complicated the issue, including fault and burden of proof. 

2)  A request or demand from a participant, ideally based on need. 

3)  A reason or reasons why the request cannot be met by the opposing participant. 


Once determined, applying this knowledge toward solution seeking and crafting concessions becomes a matter of three simple steps: 

Step One

The first step in analyzing an objection is to examine the substance of an issue, identifying individually what circumstances surround it. This involves determining fault and engaging in logical argument and defense until both parties generally concur as to which party is responsible for restitution, and to what degree. In some cases, responsibility may be shared. In negotiations, this first step will provide greater insight into potential solutions which may be required either individually or in concert in order to achieve ultimate resolution. 

Step Two

The second step is to identify what you, and/or your opponent, need in order to resolve a specific issue. The act of negotiating serves to greatly narrow the wishes of two contestants to their needs, enabling a greater range of solution. During this step, you must determine how each side would like to see the conflict resolved and what each party considers essential in abating the argument. 

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June 2006