Negotiation, Facilitation and Mediation:

Principles and Practices

28th. September 2011



Giving Separate & Joint Attention to the People & the Problem


In this session we will focus on the first of the four major components of the GTY approach to Principled Negotiation: People. Read the chapter by Fisher and Ury and think about the preparation for the session described below. The Supplementary Reading by Fisher and Shapiro provides a more recent amplification on strategies for using emotions in negotiation. Read the Ilich excerpt to see an alternative approach to the people aspects of negotiation, one that will have been read and honed by some of the individuals with whom you will be negotiating. Think about how you would respond to them. Understanding your own personality and the determinants of others personalities can be helpful to you in negotiating. Take the Kiersey Temperament Sorter Test to see what insights it provides into your own personality. Is this how you understand yourself?


  1. Fisher, R. and W. Ury. 1991. "Separate the people from the problem," in Getting To Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In. New York: Penguin (2nd Edition) pp. 17-39. Chapter 2.
  2. Ilich, J. 1982. Power Negotiating. New York: Playboy Paperbacks. Chs. 1-2. pp. i-9 (Other books by Ilich) Negotiation Materials
  3. Facilitator's Guide Part I: Chapters 4 and 5.

Supplementary Reading

Fisher, R. and D. Shapiro. 2005. Beyond Reason: Using Emotions as You Negotiate, Viking

Furlong, G. T. "Model 7: The Social Style Model," The Conflict Resolution Toolbox, Mississauga: Wiley. pp. 191-216. Negotiation Materials

Preparation: Reflecting on Your Personality

Knowing your own personality characteristics and how these influence your interactions with others, who may have different types of personality, is useful in understanding and handling people issues. A number of tests have been developed for identifying different personality types. The Keirsey Temperament Sorter Test is one of these and it is available for you to take on line. Take the test first before exploring other pages on the site and the explanations and examples of well-known people whom they have typed using the test. Don't ponder long over each of the questions in the test, just move steadily through it. In class we will ask people to let the group know (i) what their temperament type is according to Keirsey, (ii) whom among the well-known personages identified with this category, you can identify with most strongly, and (iii) which category and personage you would prefer to be likened to. We will do this anonymously for those people who would prefer not to be identified. Furlong presents a Social Style Model, which comes from the same roots as the widely used Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator and which he believes is well suited for use in negotiations. After class reflect on what you take away as insights from doing the test. What does it stimulate in terms of thoughts about yourself? How does it sensitize you to the personalities of others with whom you might be negotiating? And how they might interact with your personality?

Preparation: A Simulation To Assist In Class Discussions

Starting with this class session we will use a simulation of decisions relating to possible development in a Northern BC Valley to assist in the exploration of approaches to negotiation. Initial details of the simulation and assigned roles for each person in the class are provided in Valley Study. We will use the simulation in various ways during the course and sometimes you will be asked to prepare for the upcoming class session by relating the readings for it to your role in the Valley Study.

Today we will use the simulation to explore the ways in which GTY suggests "people" problems should be anticipated and handled in the multistakeholder negotiation process. In preparation for the class session, as described below, elaborate your assigned stakeholder role and your expectations of those of others who are involved in any way that you like so as to create examples that would illustrate well how (i) perceptions, (ii) emotions and (iii) communications associated with your stakeholder role could generate people problems in negotiations relating to the future of the valley. Thus, if you were a member of the environmental coalition, to create illustrative examples you might assume you had just had a very disappointing experience with another multinational corporation in a totally unrelated multistakeholder planning process in South-East BC. This experience has made you angry and highly distrustful of any idea of sitting down to work with any other multinational development corporation. How would you handle this? Would you handle it differently if you learnt that the person with whom you are negotiating had these feelings?


  1. Please indicate on the sheet on the wall the personality type that resulted for you from the Keirsey Temperment Sorter Test.
  2. How do the approaches to negotiation proposed by Ilich compare with those of Fisher and Ury? What type of personality do you perceive Ilich as having?
  3. Pair off with any person other than a person assigned to your stakeholder group for the Valley Study. Now one of you take 10 minutes to tell the other person about the examples you have created to illustrate how (i) perceptions, (ii) emotions and (iii) communications associated with your stakeholder role could generate people problems in negotiations relating to the future of the valley. Your partner will then suggest how each might be dealt with. You should not do this in role; just talk about it with the other person. Now swap over for 10 minutes and reverse the exchange. After 20 minutes we will begin discussion of the examples. Each of you will be asked to describe for the rest of us, the examples your partner told you about and how you suggested responding to the challenges they presented.
  4. Points you should reflect on after the class and you might want to do this with your partner for the exchange. Recall Furlong's comments (and read the chapter by Lang and Taylor if you have not already done so) about the critical role of reflection in professional practice: You grow by always reflecting on what you can learn from your experiences in practice:


Relate this experience to being a facilitator in a group and think about how you would handle the comparable issues (see Chapters 4 and 5 of the Facilitators Guide)

  • Diverse communications styles
  • Paraphrasing
  • Drawing people out
  • Mirroring
  • Gathering ideas
  • Stacking
  • Tracking
  • Encouraging
  • Balancing
  • Making space
  • Intentional silence
  • Listening for common ground
  • Chapter 5 elaborates on how to do these things in facilitating open discussion