Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Positional Bargaining wont solve Uganda’s current political crisis!

The fixed positions win-lose pitched battles we are witnessing between the opposition and government is not going to solve anything.

The government with all the might and instruments of power at its disposal ( all at taxpayer expense! ) can feel in control by suppressing, locking up, indicting and vanquishing the opposition. But this is only a band-aid to the underlying interests of the opposition and the country at large.

By the same token the opposition can continue to tune out the governments position and interests and this too, is only a costly approach to getting what they want from the government.

The opportunity costs to both sides are going to be incalculable.

For the government, scarce resources at a time of economic stress are being diverted to this avoidable crisis, let alone it's reputation around the world. At home seeds of resentment are being planted now.

For the opposition their time and effort is being diverted to this avoidable stalemate, let alone their personal safety and lives are at stake!

This stalemate can only be mitigated if both sides are engaged in utilizing interest-based negotiation. An approach developed by the Harvard Negotiation Project.

Interest-based negotiation requires antagonists to list the interests behind their positions or demands.

Interests can be satisfied in many different ways. Which is why working with interests leads to many more options than positional bargaining.

In addition, satisfying interests is psychologically much different than caving into another person’s position or demand.

When you end up with satisfied antagonists involved in a dispute, you end up with a joint sense of well-being and pride at having jointly solved a problem. Its a Win-Win solution for all!

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