Questions to Help Identify Negotiators’ Interests
- What do you want?
- Why do you want that? (Be careful about your tone.)
- How would [what you are asking for] help you? If you got that, how would you feel? (Use
identified feeling as the next level of interest and perhaps repeatedly probe for levels of
interest below that.)
- Why doesn’t what [the other person] is suggesting work for you?
- In a dispute, people often don’t get all that they want. What do you really need to feel
- What do you need to get so that you can leave today feeling good (or okay) about the
settlement or that you can at least live with?
- It sounds as if what you are really most interested in is _____. Is that right?
- Some people in your situation might be concerned about ___. Is that a concern for you?
- What do you think are [the “opposing” party]’s underlying interests in this situation?
Which of these interests, if any, do you share? Is there a way you can think of that you can
achieve your interests and also allow him/her to achieve his/hers?
© John Lande 1996. Permission to copy granted if copyright notice is retained for credit.