Negotiating Together…Again

Twenty years ago this summer, Phyllis Magrab from the Georgetown Center for Child and Human Development Center and Liz piloted a two-day training for family advocates on interest-based negotiation. Grounded in the work of Fisher and Ury and with the help of Greg Abel from Sound Options Group, LLC, we sat in a coffee shop and outlined a training curricula that we hoped would help participants that were feeling somewhat adversarial in their advocacy find a more collaborative way of partnering.

Over the years, we refined this training for special educators, mental health providers, cross system groups and the United States Air Force. It has reemerged as a skill based training for those who want to collaborate effectively. We have refined the content and created new interactive ways of delivering it and have provided it to NITT grantees for Project AWARE and Healthy Transitions and youth and family groups in State SOC expansion sites.

Most of us don’t learn negotiation skills (unless, like me, you went to law school – and those skills are slightly different). Our instinct may be to go into our meetings with our outcomes already fleshed out and we are ready to persuade others to get on board with our ideas. Interest based negotiation is about becoming curious about why you are focused on a certain outcome and, as important, why others are focused on theirs. The ultimate goal is to create a mutually satisfactory outcome.

This training is an opportunity for leaders in diverse groups to come together to learn about and practice negotiation skills in order to participate effectively in collaboration. Participants will learn what it means to negotiate and collaborate to create positive change, practice communication skills that are fundamental in negotiation and identify and address the challenges of conflict and change.