Interest-Based Problem-Solving, an approach rooted in addressing the underlying needs, interests, and concerns of all parties involved, has gained prominence as an effective method for conflict resolution and collaboration in the workplace.

In addition to fostering stronger working relationships, this method can also accelerate personal growth and development. By incorporating elements of Robert Kegan’s Constructive Developmental Theory, we can better understand the role of Interest-Based Problem-Solving in promoting growth at work. As Kegan notes,

“Collaboration is a context in which people can construct and reconstruct themselves.”

Robert Kegan

With this in mind, let’s explore five ways Interest-Based Problem-Solving contributes to personal growth and development in a professional setting.

Enhanced Communication Skills

Interest-Based Problem-Solving requires open-mindedness, active listening, and clear communication. By practicing these skills, individuals can become more effective communicators and better understand their colleagues’ perspectives. In the process, they contribute to creating a shared meaning within their work environment, aligning with Kegan’s emphasis on the importance of shared understanding.

Increased Empathy and Understanding

This approach encourages participants to explore and acknowledge the interests and concerns of others. By doing so, individuals develop greater empathy and understanding, which can contribute to personal growth and stronger working relationships. Kegan’s work highlights the role of relationships in our development, and increased empathy can facilitate this growth through deeper connections with colleagues.

Improved Problem-Solving Abilities

Interest-Based Problem-Solving creative thinking and collaboration. By working together to find mutually beneficial solutions, individuals can improve their problem-solving skills and learn to approach challenges with a more open and flexible mindset. As people progress through Kegan’s stages of development, they become better equipped to navigate complex situations, and honing problem-solving abilities is an essential part of this journey.

Greater Self-Awareness

As individuals engage in Interest-Based Problem-Solving, they are encouraged to reflect on their own needs, interests, and concerns. This introspection can lead to greater self-awareness and a deeper understanding of one’s own values and priorities. Kegan’s theory emphasizes the importance of self-understanding in personal growth, and Interest-Based Problem-Solving provides an opportunity to cultivate this self-awareness in a professional context.

Development of Negotiation Skills

Learning to effectively negotiate and find win-win solutions is a valuable skill in both personal and professional settings. Interest-Based Problem-Solving provides an opportunity to develop and refine these negotiation skills, leading to personal growth and increased effectiveness in the workplace. As individuals develop their negotiation abilities, they progress through Kegan’s stages of development, becoming more adept at navigating the complexities of interpersonal relationships.


Interest-Based Problem-Solving offers a powerful means to accelerate personal growth and development in the workplace. By enhancing communication skills, fostering empathy and understanding, improving problem-solving abilities, increasing self-awareness, and developing negotiation skills, individuals can progress through Kegan’s stages of development and build stronger, more meaningful working relationships. Ultimately, Interest-Based Problem-Solving can create a more collaborative and growth-oriented work environment, benefiting both individuals and organizations as a whole.

If you’re interested in discovering more about Interest-Based Problem-Solving and how it can transform your professional life, we invite you to contact us at As experts in this field, we can provide valuable insights, guidance, and support to help you navigate the complexities of workplace relationships and enhance personal growth and development. Don’t hesitate to reach out and unlock the potential of Interest-Based Problem-Solving in your work environment.

“Human beings are meaning-makers. We live in a world not of things, but of meanings. We may have our feet on the ground, but our real existence is in a world of shared meanings, shared understandings, shared expectations.”

Robert Kegan