Leopards have spots, zebras have strips. A peacock has a beautiful plume of feathers. Each of the species is unique. Man hunts for pleasure making the human species uniquely dangerous.

Individuals are unique. Each negotiation is unique. Each situation is unique. The challenge of negotiations is to be able to sift through the nuances of each situation and forge a uniquely viable accord.

Applying investigative skills, negotiators and mediators alike seek to identify the variables in a given situation. Then they apply problem solving techniques to identify potential solutions. The final step is to exchange the assets required by both parties to satisfy their respective and unique set of needs.

Without going through the need assessment process and determining the discreet issues impacting the situation at hand, a negotiator cannot hope to know how best to start a negotiation. Even more problematic, he won't know when a good deal has been reached. He simply is not prepared to negotiate.

Family mediators also require this process to make sure the needs of those involved are met, not just the symptoms that have been raised.


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