Ted Feifer conducted two negotiation and diplomatic skills training for the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Sarajevo, May 18-20, 2009 and May 20-22, 2009.

Ted Feifer conducted two negotiation and diplomatic skills training for the OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Sarajevo, May 18-20, 2009 and May 20-22, 2009.  The first workshop had 20 participants, consisting of 5 international (from Russia, Slovenia, Romania, Hungary and Croatia) and 15 national staff.  The second workshop had 19 participants, consisting of 8 international (from Greece, United States, Czech Republic, Austria (2), France (2), and Italy) and 11 national staff.  Participants worked at all levels of the mission, from the Head Office and regional centers, down to seven field offices in the Federation and Republika Srpska.  Their positions included the office of the chief of mission, and the departments of democratization, education, human rights and security cooperation.

Program objectives were to strengthen negotiation, diplomatic and third party skills; improve problem solving in individual and group situations; and share experiences and lessons learned in preventing, managing and resolving conflicts.  The first day of the workshop addressed styles used in communication, conflict and negotiation; communicating more effectively; and negotiation; building up to a multi-party and multi-issue exercise involving conflict between two villages. The second day the third party role was covered; followed by a multi-party exercise.  The group also focused on emotional pressures in negotiation, using a video as the basis for analysis; applied their skills in practical problem solving; and fielded common negotiation tactics. The workshops either culminated in a complex multi-party simulation designed to test negotiation and mediation skills, or an analytical exercise using a video to analyze the challenges of mediation.

Participants during the first workshop particularly appreciated the practical aspects of the training.  One commented: “The practical approach was excellent.  We benefitted from a lot of it.”  Another wished that the training had been a full three days, noting that “the experience gained will be most valuable not only in my work, but also in my private life.” 

Participants in the second workshop also emphasized the usefulness of the training to their work.  One expressed particular appreciation for “the information, hints, potential guidelines which could be used in my work.”  Another noted that “from now on, I will pay more attention to the preparation of my meetings, and be aware of negotiation tactics I learned here.”

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