Managing conflict is essential to managing your stress levels. Why, because conflict can cause huge amounts of stress.
This program at first will appear to be complicated. It really isn’t. The bottom line is that it seeks to identify the interests behind people’s positions that are in conflict.
For example, you tell your child to do something and they say, “No”. So, the child’s position is “No”. You might get mad and say, “Do it or else”, or, “I am the parent and you will do as you’re told”, etc. You are faced with a conflict. You have different options. The interest based option would be not to focus on the position of NO, but to find out why the child doesn’t want to do what you are telling them to do; they may have a valid reason why they are not complying.
There is always an interest behind a position and yes, sometimes you will have to use power or authority to solve conflict. The interest based methods will yield the best results.
Once you have a grasp of the program you will realize that you don’t always have to go through the entire 5 steps of the program. Sometimes you will only have to say to yourself, “O.K., I am not going to get sucked into people’s positions; I am going to focus on trying to find out what is behind their positions, in other words what are their interests”.