Lecture 4: Approaches to Conflict: Positions and Interests, Understanding Power and Conflict
Responding to someone who crushes your arm
o How does this response compare to the IAE response?
o IAE response seeks to provide information in order to generate understanding
o This response seeks to give acknowledgement
In Fall 2011, the New York Magazine ran an article called “parents of a certain age” about women who use medical treatment
to become pregnant in advanced middle age (50+). The article has been controversial. Some argue: Women should have the
right to bear children or not.
1. What was your discussion experience like – what methodology did you use to manage our conversation?
2. In your discussions what were the reasons given behind the position you took?
3. Did anyone reveal a reason which seemed to trump all other reasons? If so, what was it and how did it become a
a. Pushing out argument at a very rational level
Positions and Interests
Positions: stated solutions to an issue (90%)
Interests: needs, wants, fears, hopes – reasons why we take the positions we do (10%)
o Wants – tangibles
o Substantive or procedural
o Wants based conflicts becomes needs based
o Needs – intangibles what we try to avoid
Success in some part of one’s life
o Sometimes described as matters of identity
How do “throw-away comments”, relate to the positions & interests model?
Communication Skills using P and I
How do we get from positions to interests?
• Open-ended questions
• Genuine curiosity (shift from judgement to curiousity)
• Summarizing/paraphrasing statements
• Verbal indicators and body language to indicate listening
• Appropriate revelation of own interests
• Agreement, acknowledgement whenever possible
• Apologies as appropriate
Having authority over something
Capacity to influence others
To get what one wants
Capacity to bring about chance
Ability to influence another to do something they would not necessarily do on their own
Types of power