Generate a Variety of Possibilities Before Deciding What to Do (Options)
This step entails trying to develop as many options as possible that can meet both parties' interests. For example, we can say:
- "Can you think of at least two other ways of getting what you want?"
- "What might be the perfect situation?"
- "Can we focus on new solutions that would make you feel better?"
- "Let's explore all the options that are available to us."
The key to this step in the collaboration process is to brainstorm, that is, generate as many options as possible that can meet each partner's needs. Solutions are not judged during the brainstorming phase of collaborative conflict management. Our aim at this point is quantity. not quality; we evaluate the possibilities in the next stage of the collaboration process. The possibilities available to the partners engaged in conflict about space include installing a closet in the garage, building a storage shed in the backyard, asking friends to temporarily store some of the possessions, and paying to store some of the possessions in a self-storage facility. Other possibilities include moving to a larger home down the block or the smae neighborhood so tha friends remain in close proximity and the children remain in their schools.