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Negotiating Win-Win Solutions

This modelling the tools is incorporated into critical challenges at grade 10, however, it can be adapted for use at all grade levels.


Session Five

Option: Introduce possible options.

  • If students have proposed a weak or limited set of solutions, distribute Possible Options. Ask students to work in stakeholder groups to discuss these options. Encourage students to make notes on the anticipated effects of the options on each stakeholder group listed. In a class discussion, invite students to comment on whether or not each option offers a win-win solution for all stakeholders.

Organize negotiating groups.

  • Organize students into negotiating groups composed of one representative from each stakeholder group. For simplicity, use the documentary production teams to compose the different negotiating groups. Distribute a copy of Notes on Suggested Plans to each student who is to record, in note form, the substance of each proposal, the advantages and disadvantages, and any probing questions that come to mind. Explain that each representative will have three minutes to present his or her group's two suggestions and the reasons why other groups should accept these proposals. During each presentation, other students are to complete the relevant sections of Notes on Suggested Plans. Representatives may ask probing questions but are not to debate or disagree with the proposal until all proposals have been presented.

Explain negotiating procedures.

  • Explain to students that after presenting their proposals, the negotiating groups will work to reach consensus on two proposals for use of the rain forest. Ask students to define what it means to reach consensus (general agreement on an option). Point out that this is not a vote where the majority decides but an agreement among all parties. A decision is not reached until everyone agrees with it. If a consensus is difficult to reach, group members need to discuss further the ways in which they can compromise. To help them reach consensus, they may find it helpful to adopt the following guidelines for a respectful discussion:
    • speak in turn—do not interrupt
    • restate others' points for clarification
    • disagree in a respectful way—disagree with the point not the person.

Remind students that they are to adopt a win-win attitude in developing a plan that best meets everyone's interests. The objective of win-win is that each stakeholder group fulfills its interests while promoting the interests of other groups. This mindset requires the following:

  • trying to understand the other groups' positions
  • considering the other groups' interests as well as their own
  • trusting that it is possible for all groups to meet many of their goals, although there may be some give and take.

Develop criteria for win-win solutions.

  • Before beginning to negotiate their plans, remind students of the following criteria for a win-win solution:
    • is feasible
    • promotes everyone's (or almost everyone's) interests
    • is fair to everyone concerned.

Record these criteria on chart paper or an overhead transparency for reference.

Hold the negotiation meetings.

  • Invite students to discuss the proposals only after all the presentations are made. In their groups, students are to discuss the benefits and disadvantages of each proposal and try to reach consensus on two actions that will best serve all groups' interests. Remind students to keep in mind the criteria for a win-win solution and that they may need to compromise. Refer students to the possible modifications to their proposals that they identified on Implications of Proposals. After a plan is reached that is agreeable to everyone, each group should record its two proposals and the reasons on chart paper for sharing with the rest of the class.
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Last updated: July 1, 2014 | (Revision History)
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