Joni and Ben joined forces to start a
business making wooden baskets. The gardening store in their community is
willing to buy every basket Joni and Ben can make. Since Joni is saving money
for university, she is keen to ramp up their production and work full throttle
all spring and summer. Lately, Joni feels Ben has been slacking off leaving her
with the lion’s share of the work. Ben feels he’s doing as much as he can, but
since he joined a new band, his time is limited. Ben still wants to be an
active partner in the business.
Identify positions of each side of the
people in conflict.
What are Joni and Ben’s true needs and
desires? What is the layer under the conflict?
Brainstorm possible solutions to their
Discuss how each solution would affect each
side and figure out possible compromises.
· Position of each side of the people
in conflict :
this scenario, Joni is person who is working hard to make money for her tuition
fee for the university whereas Ben recently joined a new band. Joni is on a
break from her study so she is keen to use this time to make money for her
further education whereas Ben obviously doesn’t have much time on his hands as
he surely has to secure his position in the band but both people want to
utilize this opportunity to make as much money as they can.
wants Ben to contribute more towards their business and spend more time with
her so that they both can make more baskets in less time whereas Ben wants to
spend more time in the band so that he can secure his position in the band but
he also wants his business to be profitable.
needs of both persons and the layer under the conflict :
true desire is to make as much money as she can from this opportunity as she
needs this money for her further education.
true desire is to secure a good position in the band. He really isn’t much
interested in the ‘Basket Making’ business. But he surely wants to make money
from this opportunity too but he simply doesn’t have much time to spare for
The real problem here is, time, that one has and
the other does not.
Solutions to their conflict :
solutions for this conflict are follows.
both can arrange their working hours in such a way that when one is busy, the
other one will work and vice versa. For instance, if Ben is busy from 12 to 3,
Joni can work on this time and Ben can work from 4 to 7 when Joni can rest.
can also come to a compromise or an agreement that Joni, who invests more time
in making baskets, will have a higher percentage, say 65% or 70%, of the total
profit whereas Ben, who doesn’t make as much baskets as Joni, will have a
lesser profit, say 35% or 30%, of the total profit.
my thinking, the best way is that they can set a limit or a goal. For instance,
both of them have to come up with, say 100 baskets, every week. In this way,
Joni would have no right to accuse Ben of not showing interest in his work and
Ben can also work whenever he wants as long as he meets his limits.
of the solution on each side :
the 1st solution, Ben will have to very hard and will have very
little time to rest throughout the day. If he practices in the band for 3 hours
then he will also have to work for 3 hours in making baskets and will also have
less time to rest. Joni might work for 3 hours to match the time that Ben has
been working but then she will also waste a lot of time that could have been
useful thus losing a visible profit.
the 2nd solution, Ben will have to compromise to his share in the
profits of the business as he obviously can’t yield as much as Joni. Joni can
also work as much as she wants as she have much percentage of the profits. So,
the more she works the more she earns than Ben.
the 3rd solution, they both can give an estimate of their own that
how many baskets they can make individually in a week and then come to a mean
value. For example, If Joni says she can make 120 baskets a week and Ben can
only make 80, then they can agree on making 100 baskets a week. In this way,
Joni won’t have any thoughts that Ben is not working as much as her and Ben can
also work whenever he is free throughout the week. In this scenario, Ben will
have to work a bit more than he already does but Joni will have some free time.