Joint Fact Finding: Mapping the Territory Together

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Adapted from “Joint Fact Finding” by Lawrence Susskind in the December 2003 issue of the Negotiation newsletter.

Some might argue that confrontation is inevitable. But a wide range of collaborative efforts around the country have shown that it can be avoided.

How can negotiators find their way into the trading zone quickly and easily?

One proven method is joint fact finding.

As Lawrence Susskind and his colleagues write in The Consensus Building Handbook, joint fact finding is a multistep, collaborative process for bringing together negotiating partners with different interests, values, and disciplinary perspectives.

By agreeing how information will be gathered, analyzed, and interpreted, the parties lay the foundation for their negotiation.

Joint fact finding, which helps maximize joint gains, has proven successful in helping parties resolve disagreements, particularly highly technical ones.

Unbiased expert advice is key. Without help from experts they trust, the parties will remain too focused on offense and defense to move together in the right direction.


In this FREE special report from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School,  Dispute Resolution, Working Together Toward Conflict Resolution on the Job and at Home, the editors of Negotiation Briefings cull valuable negotiation strategies and curate popular content to provide you with a concise guide on how to improve your dispute resolution skills.


Related Article: Business Negotiations – What You Need to Know About Joint Fact Finding

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