How to answer the question: What do you want from the other person?

Once you have expressed your feelings and needs, the next important step is for you to ask the other person to take a concrete action that might resolve the conflict. What would address your need and resolve this conflict? Make your request clear, specific and concrete.

Unclear or Vague Request Clear and Concrete Request
You need to give me more time before you react. I want you to wait two hours before your react to the dishes not being washed.

Being clear about what you need from the other person helps clarify your conflict by setting the stage for negotiation. We do not always get what we need, but in a partnership we can learn to compromise. There are some needs that can feel non-negotiable; identifying those needs is also important.

There are three ways that the other person may respond to your request. They may:

If the other person doesn’t feel they have a choice to either counter-offer or decline your request, then your request is merely a camouflaged demand. Demands almost always elicit resistance or resentment. If they counter-offer or decline your request, be in dialogue with them to negotiate an acceptable response that will work for both of you.