Tag Archives: negotiation

Mediation and Negotiation

Last week was spent with Jan Sunoo and Pat Dunn from the Federal Mediation & Conciliation Service in the USA.  It was an intense week and we looked at tools and techniques for third part interventions including an Interest Based Negotiation model.

Pat demonstrating some active negotiation skills

Many of the skills were similar to that of TIDES’s OCN courses in Conflict Management (active listening, summarising, paraphrasing and re-framing etc.) but the process itself differed in the fact that it focussed very much on negotiation and not on mediation as a form on conflict resolution (i.e. the ability of the third-party to offer potential alternative solutions was much greater).  I was able to co-facilitate a full day role play with Jan which allowed to me an insight into the more subtle nuisances of the process itself. We also looked at other facilitation techniques such as Appreciative Inquiry and Open Space Technology.

Jan looking at Issues and Criteria in an Interest based Negotiation situation.

Root Causes of Conflict

The last couple of days have been quite experiential.   We spent most of yesterday taking part in a practical negotiation exercise based around a Mitrovica hospital simulation.  It examined the use of game theory and the prisoner’s dilemma  in conflict resolution and it really brought out the practicalities of having “spoilers” who are heavily invested in trying to derail a negotiation process.  An exercise I will definitely be borrowing for home…

We spent this morning with Tom Woodhouse looking at possible creative aspects of conflict resolution.  The afternoon lecture from Irene Santiago examined the ideology and theory of Elise Boulding and Edward Azar along with a brief history of the Philippines. We also started to get a taste for the practical experiences of people in the room with YouTube clips from Afghanistan, Ghana and pacific islands near New Zealand.

Through Azar’s theory of Protracted Social Conflict it was highlighted repeatedly how the emotive power of identity can be used by “ethnic activists” and “political entrepreneurs” into seeking to justify the need for conflict.  From Boulding I will take away the Two basic paradoxical human needs: Our need to bond with others and our need to have our own space.

Irene Santiago talking about the work of Edward Azar