strategic planning elements


Whenever there are conflicts between individuals, it is essential to come up with strategies that will help develop a peaceful ending and a concrete solution to their conflict. These strategies should aim at reaching a mutual agreement that yields the most beneficial outcome for the parties involved. We are created differently, come from different backgrounds and the way we think or behave are completely different from the way our partners think and behave. Therefore, it would not be surprising to find a conflict emerging in a situation where there is more than one person involved. Poor planning could never lead to any successful solution of the problems or the differences between the two parties. As such, the parties need to be extremely careful when handling the issues. Additionally, they need to avoid the common pitfalls as giving in too quickly to a deal that one party thinks is fair or failing to pay attention to the opinions of the other party. For instance, trading off the issues that I obviously care about more with those that my husband cares about, by caring less and considering his opinions. Through this, we will be able to create a valuable transaction and reach a peaceful and reasonable decision.

Strategic planning elements

According to Fisher et al. (2000), change can be viewed as either an opportunity or a threat by the parties involved, which gives rise to a conflict. As much as we both want to be happy, in a new home (positive interdependence), there is a greater possibility that one of us will not be living in a location that feels more comfortable for them (negative interdependence). The only option that could make my husband happy is buying a house in the metro, close to the Highlands area where he could easily access restaurants, entertainment as well as recreation facilities. However, this is a short-term source of happiness because one cannot enjoy such facilities for the rest of their lives, as, at old age, there is peace and relaxation that one needs to experience. Additionally, accessing such facilities will mean the need for additional expenses and the house will be too small for the family in case more children are to be born. No matter how much we will try expanding the new house in the city, the limited compound will still not serve the purpose for a bigger space to accommodate the family.

Using the Barnlund’s Six Views, I view myself as someone who is after the happiness of my family, and I view my husband as someone who is after the same thing too. I believe that my husband views me as someone who does not easily give up once I purpose to achieve a certain goal. Therefore, it will not be easy for me to compromise the situation at the expense of my general family’s happiness. As much as my husband makes quite some logical points on why we should remain in the metro, he knows that I will stick to my perspective on the issue. Since my husband believes that I view him as a person who knows that I do not have a room for compromise, I think he will consider being cooperative enough. With that, I believe that he will give priority to the happiness of the whole family. In the field theory, considering the approach-approach conflict, it will be essential to state clearly the benefits of locating further away from the town where finding a spacious compound at an affordable price.

It is logical to locate a place that is less than 30 minutes of commute to the town but considering other external factors and the internal factors by use of the attribution theory, this external factor weighs less. I would like to convince my husband to take control of his internal attributions and try to adopt the external issues that are what I believe to be the best long-term solutions. This decision will eventually lead to ultimate happiness for us and our kid(s). In addition, I think that the constructivist nature of my husband as well as the huge role it is playing in me forms the major basis for our conflict. Eliminating the fear that my husband has, over losing his identity should be a priority, as my perspective for space and privacy seems to be a reason that is mutually beneficial in a long-term situation. Nonetheless, unearned criticism will not be an option in our conflict resolution process, as this will mean that one of us is unfair or is treating the other party unjustly. Fortunately, my husband and I always try to be reasonable in any conflict, and this will not be any exception.

Since we both prioritize each other’s emotional intelligence, I would prefer to act submissive towards my husband’s feelings to avoid being too controlling and inconsiderate. The exercising power of any type would certainly yield negative results to the relationship, contrary to our objective of reaching an amicable agreement. My husband will try to do me the favor through pleasing me and making a decision that he thinks will make me happy, by using this accommodative style. I know how my husband thinks because he displays his true character in our communication as we utilize the spontaneity climates to show our concern for each other. Therefore, by the letting the relationship goal, which is the most significant here, triumph and letting my husband make the decision, there is a possibility that he will end up letting my process goal win. Consequently, this is a competitive way of solving this conflict in an indirect way, without compromising our relationship.

Nonetheless, I will have to be extremely careful when applying such a competitive way of negotiating as it could easily lead to a more negative outcome than the anticipated positive. That way I could end up making the conflict personal, which could hurt the feelings of my husband, leaving us unhappy and most probably with an unsolved problem. As such, I would encourage my husband to focus on our future, as well as the future of our kid(s) through a cooperative negotiation process. Through this, we could both end up happy if we worked together and overlooked our differences. In addition to working together, fractionation of our problems would be essential in assisting us resolve the conflict. Since we have several issues to tackle including deciding on the location for our new home, costs to be involved in moving out and purchasing a new house, it will be vital to fragment these problems. Breaking down the issue into smaller topics that are easier to tackle will effectively help us in this instance.

There are different types of listening skills whether active, appreciative, comprehensive, discriminative, empathetic or evaluative listening. These skills would work for various couples trying to solve a problem. Nonetheless, in my case, appreciative listening and comprehensive listening would be the most appropriate for understanding and appreciating the opinion of my husband shows my concern for his happiness. However, the evaluative listening would be essential to some extent, as I would also like to communicate my views where his opinions did not seem to match the long-term happiness in our relationship. I will do this by using the concept of validating all his emotions and communicate in a way that I will not hurt his feelings. This aspect will also serve to display my concern and interest in his opinion and what his feelings are on this issue, rather than concentrating entirely on my interests. More also, I will be able to notice when he is upset or expressive and try to curb the situation by preventing the repercussions of the differences from escalating into other worse situations.

Putting the five clusters found in Mayer’s Wheel of Conflict in practice will be another essential step in ensuring effectiveness during this strategic planning process. The Mayer’s Wheel of Conflict has five major elements that are found in every relationship and are applied daily in the lives of the parties in the relationship as they keep a relationship alive and successful. These elements include communication, emotions, values, the structure, and historical background of each of the parties involved. With communication being the most important to every relationship, I will make sure that my husband and I are constantly communicating by any means and are in good terms. We should also avoid any emotional dialogs and embark more on logics around the problem in order to solve the problems that are resulting mainly from our historical backgrounds. The showing concern of each other’s history and appreciating what the other party values should be the major objective in this conflict if any positive results are to be yield.

Negotiation process

According to Patton (2005), the Problem-Solving “Circle of Value” Negotiation argues that the parties should be ready to cooperate and work together in reaching an amicable resolution. As such, my husband and I could postpone all our prior commitments and maximize on our time in trying to distribute the value of the agreement fairly. The aspect of demanding for anything or making offers is avoided while brainstorming and use of multiple options utilized to enhance the distribution of value. This process requires that the parties share some interests like minimizing the costs involved when locating to a new place or wishing happiness for the other party (Patton, 2005). The process encourages us to take an action rather than wishing that we would take one; we should do rather than be willing to do. As such, we are not just theorizing anything but taking the appropriate steps to ensuring that we reach our goal while at the same time building our relationship. Moreover, the process uncouples the value of our relationship with the degree of agreement, which keeps the bond between us strong during this period of disagreement. In addition, my husband and I need to keep the respect between us on the forefront and show high levels of understanding. The reason for this is that, none of us fully understands the problem or has the ultimate answer or explanation to the problem. Through this negotiation process, it becomes easier for my husband and me to discuss the challenges between us, as well as understand each other’s level of tension. That way, we can manage the conflict jointly through the increased delegations of authority or other creative means, thus improving the relationship and reaching a resolution that is most favorable to us. In this case, we considered the happiness of our kid(s) whom we felt that they could be happier if they grew up outside the town. The reason being that a home outside the city would have some ample space for them as well as less interaction with other children that could be a bad influence on them. Moreover, life outside the city would be relatively cheap, and we will be able to ‘grow’ as a peaceful and happy family, which is what we want for our future.

Final reflection on the Negotiation

My husband reacted positively to the negotiation outcomes, which he contributed to and decided to sacrifice his interests for the happiness of the family. Taking this step, was necessary since one of us had to cave in and make a decision that does not only serve his or her interests but the long-term interest of the family? I appreciate my husband’s decision to move a little further away from the city at the expense of his accessibility to entertainment facilities, as well as convenience into the city.

There are several techniques to use in the process of negotiation, which depends on how strong a relationship is, how urgent a particular party needs a resolution as well as the complexity of the conflict2005). We had great faith in our relationship and believed that no matter how complex the issues were, we would eventually find a way out that would satisfy our interests fully. Locating far away from the city would help us save some costs associated with the expensive city life (Engel and Korf, 2005). More also, we would be able to purchase a bigger house built on a larger compound with the same amount we would have spent on a townhouse. Although a lot of time will be spent whenever to commute to the city, we will be at peace and be able to enjoy our privacy. Nevertheless, this does not mean that my husband will not be able to access the entertainment and recreation centers in town. With time, it will be easier to adapt to the commuting life and make it part of our daily life. Moreover, we will be able to create more time that we could use to ensure that the process of traveling to the city does not inconvenience us.

Analyzing the Barnlund’s Six Views and the attribution theory, I would say that my husband is quite strict when it comes to time. In addition, his opinion on why we should not locate far from the city was quite logical and convincing. I view him as a person who keeps his word and would never want to inconvenience anyone, especially if it is a matter of lateness. As such, I was surprised when he decided to go by my opinion without putting much of a fight during the negotiation process.


Engel, A., & Korf, B. (2005). Negotiation and mediation techniques for natural resource management. Retrieved from

Patton, B. (2005). Negotiation. The handbook of dispute resolution: a publication of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Fisher, S., Abdi, D.I., Ludin, J., Smith, R., Williams, S. & Williams, S. (2000). Working with conflict: skills and strategies for action. Responding to conflict. London, Zed Books.

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