The Orange Story

A brother and sister are fighting in the kitchen over the only orange left in the house. The mom, tired of hearing the bickering, comes in to the kitchen and cuts the orange in half. Problem Solved! A compromise.

But wait, an hour later, mom comes back to the kitchen to find half an orange peel at one end of the table, half the insides of the orange at the other end of the table. What happened?

The sister was hungry - the brother needed the orange peel for a recipe - so what was missing in the resolution process? A simple question: what do you need the orange for?

I first read this story in a book by Roger Fisher and William Ury called, "Getting to Yes". It is such a great explanation of the value of co-operative conflict resolution that I have seen bowls of oranges at Mediation Conferences to remind us of what we are doing.

So let's look at this thing we call "compromise". It has been touted for centuries as the way to resolve conflict fairly.

"Meet you half way"

"Split the difference"

"You have to give up something to get something"

Maybe not -

Facilitated Meetings are about learning a new way to resolve conflict, about changing your thinking. They're about learning the value of conflict. They're about learning how you view conflict and how these views affect the way you do or don't resolve conflict in your life.