Thursday, July 1, 2010

Wants and Must Haves in Business—What’s the Difference?

“Humans have the remarkable ability to get exactly what they must have. But there is a difference between a ‘must’ and a ‘want. ” By Jim Rohn
In my earlier days as a mediator and conflict management specialist, we helped individuals in conflict understand the difference between a want and a must have. When people are in conflict, they often present their position as a want (“I want___ or I don’t want___”). A want is often one person’s solution to a problem (their position). A must have can be understood as an underlying interest and typically addresses some sort of fear, priority, value. People tend to argue positions (wants) however, when we communicate from the perspective of our underlying interests, we discover more about the other individual, understand the reason their need is so important, and often identify shared interests or needs. When shared interests or needs are identified, creative options for solutions seem to surface.
Three steps to take to clearly communicate your needs (must haves) and interests:
• Speak about what you Need, not what you Don’t Need
• Provide an example, or explanation so the other individual understands your rationale
• Ask questions to the other individual so that you can understand his/her underlying interests

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