problem-solving approach

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An approach to negotiation first articulated in the book Getting to YES written by Roger Fisher and William Ury. The problem-solving approach argues that (1) negotiators should work together as colleagues to determine whether an agreement is possible that is better for both of them than no agreement, (2) in doing so they should postpone commitments while exploring how best to maximize and fairly distribute the value of any agreement, and (3) it makes sense for one party to take this approach even if the other does not. The problem-solving approach emphasizes parties’ underlying interests rather than their positions, and encourages parties to maintain and build their relationship even if they disagree rather than creating an adversarial process. (Michael L. Moffitt and Robert C. Bordone, eds., Handbook of Dispute Resolution [Program on Negotiation/Jossey-Bass, 2005], 292-93)

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