L G B T   C a m p u s   O r g a n i z i n g
(When (I, he, she, they)______, you
Problem Solving
felt_______, because you ________,
The following is a six step problem solv 
and what you want is_______,
ing model which you can use to find
mutually agreeable solutions to conflicts.  
When this cycle is complete the person
talking usually feels understood.  Under 
Step 1
standing is not the same as agreeing,
Define the problem in terms of the real
needs of each person (not their proposed
solution).  State the facts, not opinions,
about the actual condition.  Get agree 
ment on the desired condition.  The prob 
lem is often the difference between the
two.  It is important to get agreement on
the actual problem (specific and factual)
before moving on to the solutions.
Step 2
Think of possible solutions without eval 
uating or discussing any suggestions;
this is sometimes referred to as brain 
storming solutions.
Step 3
The receiver(s) will also have an oppor 
Each person eliminates any solutions
tunity to express themselves according to
they could not possibly agree to, it is
this model and be listened to.  Helping
sometimes helpful to figure out before 
people clarify their ability to send mes 
hand what criteria you will use to evalu 
sages and helping people to feed back
ate the solutions.
what they have received is one part of
conflict resolution.  It is especially useful
Step 4
in interpersonal conflicts so that people
Of the remaining solutions, decide which
feel heard and understood.  
one to use.
Often it is at the point of trying to agree
Step 5
on a solution that things get hung up.  Try
Develop an implementation plan, who is
the following problem solving technique
going to do what by when?
until you can find a mutually agreeable
solution.  This problem solving approach
Step 6
is based on a belief that it is possible for
Contract to check back at a certain time
everyone to get their needs met.  It is
to see if the solution worked.  If not, try
important that people are not forced into
this method again.
agreement because they will probably not
follow through.  
(IV) Diversity
Every group or organization wants the
fullest contribution of all its members.
6 6
B u i l d i n g   a   H e a l t h y   O r g a n i z a t i o n


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