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What is CVN?

Core Values Negotiation is an adventure into a deeper way of listening so you can focus on what matters most to you.  Traditionally 'negotiation' has operated on the wrong-headed belief that the first step was to get the feelings out of the room so that 'reason could prevail'.  In my experience that has been a false or at least misleading assumption.  Feelings, passions and motivations are the very reason we are in conflict and need to  negotiate in the first place!

Core Values Drive Emotions

The underlying assumption of CVN is that conflict exists because the parties engaged in the conflict care about something important. If you don't care about something you don't fight about it. You ignore it or walk away.

Caring enough to fight indicates that deep feelings and and passions have been triggered.  Unfortunately, we have often been trained to repress or hide those motivations.

When we are in conflict, our entire identity becomes wrapped up in the single value that we are defending. A 'reasonable' solution more often than not fails and feels unsatisfying to everyone. What a waste of energy!

Had Enough?

If enough of the individuals or groups involved in the conflict are not satisfied with the outcome they will all too often find a way to sabotage or ignore any agreement that is made. They may even re-engage in conflict in an attempt for a do-over. They sometimes leave the relationship permanently!  Sound familiar?


Instead of trying to repress or deny the emotional  nature of conflict, CVN dives in deeply and seeks to understand, support and protect the underlying values that are in play for all parties. Unlike many values we have, a "core" value is one that is universally recognizable and recognized as important and essential to our humanity. There is seldom any reason to attack the value itself, but that is how we human beings often behave.

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