Conflict: Difference Between “Interests” & “Positions”

In the realm of conflict resolution, a skilled mediator knows that your interests, not your stated positions, hold the key to a satisfactory resolution. While positions may seem like a straightforward expression of your goals, interests delve deeper into the realm of emotions, the desire to be heard, and your collaborative aspirations with the world. This distinction is crucial, as it forms the foundation for effective mediation.

Looking Past the Surface: Real Interests vs. Stated Positions

Your position is the outer layer—a generic, superficial statement of your objectives. Real interests, however, are the emotional core that propels those objectives. They are often more human, nuanced, and rooted in a desire for connection, understanding, and collaboration. A good mediator seeks to uncover these genuine interests, recognizing that they hold the true potential for resolution.

Easier Solutions Lie in Real Interests

The beauty of focusing on real interests is that they are typically more attainable than the rigid, stated positions. Your emotional needs and aspirations can often find common ground with the other party’s authentic interests, creating a space for collaboration and understanding. It’s a shift from the artificial masks or walls that positions can create, towards a more human, empathetic approach to conflict resolution.

Humanizing the Process: Emotions Over Logic

In mediation, the emphasis on interests humanizes the process. It moves away from the robotic recitation of facts and logical arguments, recognizing that at the heart of any dispute are individuals with emotions, needs, and a longing to be acknowledged. By embracing this human element, a mediator can bridge seemingly insurmountable gaps and guide parties toward a resolution that satisfies their core interests.

The Power of Understanding and Collaboration

The art of mediation lies in understanding that your interests are the compass guiding the path to resolution. A good mediator navigates beyond positions, peeling back the layers to reveal the genuine desires and emotional nuances that fuel your objectives. By recognizing and addressing these real interests, mediation becomes a powerful tool for collaboration, fostering understanding, and ultimately achieving a resolution that resonates on a human level.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top