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The Role of the Facilitator

The CVN process starts with identifying and committing to the core value that you bring to the negotiating table. Sounds simple enough, but this first step is often hidden underneath layers of history and emotionally laden context. The facilitator will help you to see and understand your own core values more clearly.


Next, the facilitator will teach you to adopt new behaviors to defend those values. Perhaps the hardest step will be to learn to apply deep listening and curiosity to those with whom you have conflict, in order to understand their Core Value(s). This requires guided practice. Top athletes understand that only perfect practice makes perfect. It is the role of the facilitator to act as a Coach, while you are learning the CVN process.

Negotiating a deeply satisfying solution to a conflict requires the participation of all parties involved. (If you find this not to be true, please let me know.) ​However, you can achieve better outcomes even if the other party is unwilling or uninterested in learning CVN. With the help of a facilitator, you can do this work by and for yourself. Bottom Line: You will more effectively negotiate your own position if you know the other's motivation better than they do!

Once you (and hopefully your partner-in-conflict) learn the rudiments of the CVN process, the role of the facilitator in a Core Values Negotiation is to slow the process down and hold the participants to a few key agreements:

  1. Core values, once identified, will be respected by all parties;

  2. Intellectual Honesty (a  variation of the Golden Rule) - no one gets to apply rules or consequences to another that they would not apply to themselves;

  3. Emotional Authenticity - Be honest about what matters to you, even if that means admitting that you don't want peace or resolution yet.

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