DIY – Negotiating Skills and Resolving Grievances

The cost of conflict either in the workplace, at home or in the world is well known.  Therefore it is no surprise that the art of negotiation, or resolving grievances, has become a profession in its own right as Anne Marie Box an accredited mediator and psychologist practicing in Noosa Junction, well knows.  “However, people do not need extensive training to negotiate solutions to everyday problems; she says and has put together the following points to help resolve conflict or grievances in everyday life.

  1. Choose the right time and place; don’t ambush a person, or they can feel defensive and it gives them time to prepare for the discussion.  I.e. “I would like to speak to you about….tonight, ok?”
  2. Present the problem in a constructive way; Work out the points you want to say prior to the meeting.  Keep calm write down your points if it helps, speak slowly and succinctly.  Keep it positive, avoiding sarcasm or criticism.
  3. Listen to what the other person has got to say; summarize what the person has said, so that they feel listened to.  Ask for clarification if you have misunderstood.
  4. Discuss Differences; Restate your original case then present the other person’s position.  Discuss the specific areas of difference and stay focused on the issues at hand.
  5. Be prepared to offer a compromise; Remember the issue is not about winning or losing, but reaching a compromise that is acceptable to both parties.  Make a concession and look for one in return.

Dealing with personal grievances

  1. Acknowledge your own feelings to yourself i.e., anger, hurt, “I feel…”
  2. Write down what it is that you do not like.  Separate fact from feeling.  “I don’t like what you are doing…”
  3. Identify what you would like:  I would like it if…”
  4. Arrange a meeting
  5. State your grievance.  Feelings first, followed by what you would like.  Do not get distracted or use critical words.  State what you would like
  6. Listen to the other person
  7. Discuss differences
  8. Reach agreements if possible

Anne Marie Box is a registered psychologist and accredited mediator working in Noosa Junction.  She can be contacted on 5473 5607 during office hours or at

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