PRINCIPLE 5

Find Common Ground

common ground, n.

“A foundation for mutual understanding” (American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, fourth edition)

“Shared beliefs or interests, a foundation for mutual understanding” (American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms)

“A basis agreed to by all parties for reaching a mutual understanding” (WordNet 2.0)

As you can see, dictionaries have reached common ground on common ground. They define it as the basis for mutual understanding. What they do not tell you is how to get there. That is the task of this chapter. We define common ground as those statements agreed to without reservation by every person in a meeting.

COMMON GROUND DIFFERSFROM COMPROMISE

Common ground is not compromise. When people ...

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