Focusing on Interests Ratherthan Positions

An approach labeled win-win and used by the facilitator in the first example cited in this chapter is also referred to as a focus on interests over positions. Both describe attempts to find solutions that are agreeable to everyone. The purpose is to move people away from positions of “for” or “against” a certain issue or plan of action and toward an examination of the interests or reasons why they hold a certain position. A focus on interests does not mean that all persons in a conflict or difference of opinion can get everything they want. It does mean that people attempt to come to an accommodation that considers issues raised by everyone. The goal is to avoid a decision of “this side wins, the other ...

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