“Begin with the end in mind” captures the essence of Step 1. If you are entering a communication or dialogue event, what do you hope to learn? If this is a conflict, what sort of outcome to you seek? An apology? Restitution or punishment? Corrective action?
In each of these circumstances you can help your cause if you take a few moments to note what you believe you already know about the situation, and what information you hope to gather along the way.
Two particular tools from the Blue Lion Toolkit can help with Step 1:
- The Preparation Questions used by professional mediators can help parties prepare for collaborative resolution.
- In conflict situations, the Standard Solutions list helps identify what you and/or the other side might need in order to achieve peace, justice or healing.