We looked at a format for discussions we can have when a problem arises:
1. State what you want: “I want to use the book now.”
2. State how you feel: “I'm frustrated.”
3. State the reasons for your wants and feelings: “You have been using the book for the past hour. If I don't get to use the book soon, my report will not be done on time. It's frustrating to have to wait so long.”
4. Then it's the other person's turn to share their wants, feelings and reasons for both.
5. Summarise your understanding of what the other person wants, how the other person feels, and the reasons underlying both.
6. Invent three optional plans to resolve the conflict.
7. Choose one plan and shake hands.
We will keep practising this when conflicts arise. Things we have found difficult so far are saying our feelings, saying the other person's wants and feelings, coming up with a few options to resolve the problem.
When we are confident to use this method of negotiating, hopefully we will use it at home too.