Negotiation and Conflict Management

Location: IWEA, Naas
Duration: 1 Day
Course Date: Wednesday, 19 February 2020
Course Time: 9am to 5pm
Course Cost
Company Member: €300
Non Company Member: €550

Course Overview

A highly interactive, practical and engaging course utilising the Harvard Business School’s ‘Principled Negotiation’ theory combined with key influencing and conflict resolution skills application.

Participants will learn theory using a structured model for effective preparation and implementation.
They will then apply these insights to a live case-study using theatre-based techniques before practicing their own skills with our actor-facilitators.

Designed for mid-senior level professionals, content will be tailored for the renewable energy sector with case-studies and scenarios reflecting the challenges of their work at development, construction and operational stages of wind farm lifecycle.

Course Objectives

  • Provide a framework based on sound principles and preparation which can be applied to any negotiation.
  • Create understanding of individual impact and the importance of good interpersonal skills in managing conflict or aggressive behaviour.
  • Enable participants to build confidence, resilience and skills through practical exercises and practice.
  • Enhance and develop client and community relationships by using a principled approach.

Who should attend

Any professional would benefit from attending however course content will be tailored specifically to the needs of those managing relationships with landowners, protestors and the wider community.

Course Content

Morning: Theory and Interactive Case-Study

The morning session focuses on the theory of principled negotiation which provides a solid foundation on which to deal with any client or community interaction. This process is fundamentally designed to avoid positional bargaining and instead enable solutions which work for all parties. The model includes the following key principles:

  • Seperate the people from the problem
  • Focus on interests, not positions;
  • Invent options for mutual gain;
  • Insist on objective criteria.

All elements of the negotiation wheel,are explored in combination with a focus on interpersonal skills and conflict resolution.

This is achieved by presenting a live case- study portrayed by our actor-facilitators, designed to illustrate typical challenges within the wind energy sector, in consultation with you. We observe a negotiation played out and participants have the opportunity to discuss what they have seen and share insights.

Using forum theatre we then follow this process:

Play – with a lightness of touch our actors illustrate the scenario which raises relevant issues in order to stimulate discussion.

Engage – through plenary facilitation the group discuss the issues represented, exploring what motivates the behaviours of the characters. Interact - participants engage directly with the characters to change the scenario by directing and influencing them – our actors will adapt the group's ideas and illustrate the result.

Analysis – we discuss the different approaches and skills necessary to engage effectively in negotiations and manage the situation through key interpersonal and communication skills in order to avoid potential conflict.

Aspects explored include:

  • Clarity of objectives and goal-setting
  • Questioning and listening
  • Influencing
  • Language, tone and non-verbal communication
  • Conversational intent and impact
  • Personal resilience

Afternoon: Skills Practice and Implementation

In this element we bring the best practice summary directly into your working world. Participants are split into smaller break-out groups to enable specific skills application and practice with each group facilitated by one of our team of facilitator-actors.

In these smaller groups we create a supportive environment and it is our experience that everyone is comfortable to get involved. We call this element ‘skills practice’ as opposed to ‘role-play’ as we don’t ask participants to play or be anything other than themselves as our facilitator-actors are highly experienced in playing the roles.

We work with participants on a conversation, challenging interaction or negotiation, bringing them to life in a practical way and offering feedback. The rest of the group will actively observe, focus on key tools or skills and discuss effective approaches to further consolidate learning.

In these breakout sessions the group will:

  • plan their approach to the conversation, including preparation using elements of the negotiation wheel;

  • work through the conversation with the actor-facilitator, stopping for guidance or to reflect on progress;

  • develop self-awareness and the ability to be reflexive within the conversation;

  • learn how to influence others, actively applying new insights and receiving feedback;

  • observe others have conversations while focusing on specific aspects;

  • share thoughts on impact and challenges through facilitated discussion;

  • apply the tools provided so they are ready to implement the learning back in their roles on the ground.

The final element of brings the whole group together again for a closing session aimed at reinforcing the personal impact each participant can have to achieve successful interactions with community stakeholders. We encourage reflection and sharing in plenary of individual insights and commitments to action as a result of the workshop.

Course Trainers

Our Methods

This course is delivered by a skilled team of three, comprised of 1 lead facilitator and 2 actor-facilitators. This enables a more engaging programme with the focus on experiential learning and practice.

We have over two decades of experience and an unequalled track-record in applying the most appropriate theatre-based learning techniques to real organisational challenges in sectors like transport, manufacturing, energy, utilities and construction. Our approach engages people rationally, emotionally and behaviourally so they understand, they care and they see they can take part. We then harness that momentum by empowering participants with the practical skills needed to ensure they apply the learning to their roles.

Live Case-Studies and Plays

At the heart of our approach, most of our programmes use scripted plays or case-studies based on real events to engage participants and allow them to explore behaviours and human factors. We have a suite of existing dramatisations and scenarios, several of which are set in the energy and wind farm sector, which are presented as case-studies in a workshop environment. Designed to be thought-provoking these plays challenge thinking and create an opportunity for dialogue on key issues and themes, through a mix of small group work and facilitated plenary discussion.

For this course we will tailor one of our scenarios to illustrate the challenges faced by participants in the wind energy sector in Ireland. Our research-based approach allows us to build a credible picture of ‘the way we do things round here’ and engage participants on a

THEM→US→ME journey to facilitate a greater level of self-awareness, understanding and ownership.

Behavioural Insights

During workshops we often give participants an opportunity to engage with the characters in our plays. This enables greater insights into the possible attitudes, choices and behaviours of those involved and our team of highly skilled and experienced actors take pride in representing events and views authentically.