As with any learning system, there are a variety of styles out there for conflict management. G.H. Varney’s negotiation process is just one of many that trainees in a conflict management learning system may employ.
Varney recommends bringing disputants together and asking: 1. What is the problem as you perceive it? 2. What does the other person do that contributes to the problem? 3. What do you want or need from the other person? 4. What do you do that contributes to the problem? 5. What first step can you take to resolve the problem?
Trainers should ensure that each person is questioned while the other listens. Then the two parties should discuss a mutual definition and understanding of the problem. These steps require good listening, self-awareness, low-defensiveness, and the ability to remain in a problem-solving mode. In Varney’s conflict resolution learning system, the ultimate goal of mediation is an agreement on what steps will be taken to resolve the problem.
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