• Joint Knowledge Online Cross-Cultural Negotiation Courses

Joint Knowledge Online Cross-Cultural Negotiation Courses

  • Practical Guide to Negotiating in the Military

Click above to see the Practical Guide.

(Micah Cordes AF Photo)

Click above to visit Practical Guide to Negotiation Online

(Micah Cordes AF Photo)


Welcome to the Air Force Negotiation Center (AFNC) website. The AFNC provides this site to inform you about the art and science of negotiation. You negotiate on a regular basis, whether as a leadership tool, part of an integral problem solving process, or just to make a decision. Skillful negotiation is a proven, positive tool for success. AFNC's goal is to ensure success in current and future negotiations. See our mission brief for more information.

You are likely at the AFNC's website for a specific reason. You may have an issue with a current negotiation. You might be preparing for deployment and will negotiate with Joint, Coalition, or Host-Nation partners. It could be that you are simply in need of research on the topic of negotiation. For whatever the reason, our job is to assist you.

STEP ONE - Read The Practical Guide to Negotiations in the Military

If you are looking for resources to help with an ongoing or potential negotiation in the operational environment, start with warrior resources. This link provides a current guide and checklist on cooperative negotiation strategy. We designed the rest of the site in a similar fashion. If you cannot find the information you are looking for contact us and we will assist you.

We also have an email loop to access our corporate email account. We need your feedback and will respond in a timely manner. The AFNC welcomes suggestions about our materials, courseware, and website. Please take a minute to share any stories of how you have used negotiation to succeed (or fail) in your mission.

Good luck - The AFNC Faculty and Staff

What is Negotiation?
"A deliberate process for two or more people or groups to solve a difference or problem" - Dr. Stef Eisen

ne-go-ti-a-tion - noun, ne.go.ti.ate - verb
"Negotiation is a process whereby two persons or groups strive to reach agreement on issues or courses of action where there is some degree of difference in interest, goals, values or beliefs. The job of the negotiator is to build credibility with the "other side," find some common ground (shared interests), learn the opposing position, and share information that will persuade the "other side" to agree to an outcome."

National Defense University Strategic Leadership and Decision Making

Negotiation practices are a ubiquitous concern, and there are plethoras of books available on the topic of negotiation. These works are filled with stories and examples of how negotiations are utilized daily. Negotiation is an integral part of daily life and people use many different styles and strategies. Negotiation occurs at home; at work; when shopping; and during strategic, operational, and tactical military missions.

The primary goal and mission of the AFNC is to help you learn to negotiate more effectively. The best way to understand negotiation is to first read the AFNC's Practical Guide, which is the primary reference on the art and science of negotiation.

Why Negotiate in the Military?
Leaders are often charged with mission accomplishment working with people over whom they have no direct authority.

In the past, education and training did not emphasize negotiation as a military leadership and management tool. Leaders did use negotiation, but traditionally looked to application of power for mission success. Military leaders were and are quick to use their legitimate authority to solve problems. We have led, fought, and trained in this manner for years.

Military leaders also have the ability to apply force, but are limited by situation, mission, or rules-of-engagement. On an average day, an operational commander may have a large span-of-responsibility with a very limited span-of control. Commanders now lead teams that may reach across the host-nation, international coalitions, governmental civilian agencies, non-governmental agencies, etc. Your job, however, is to convince these groups to apply their expertise and resources when you have no direct authority over their actions. Negotiation will be a key skill to successfully complete your mission.

Negotiation will not be just an operational skill. As resources shrink, military leaders will negotiate each day. Just sitting down with your peers to allocate training resources may require intense internal and external negotiations. You might bargain proposals both up and down the chain-of-command to balance resources and time to meet your units training objectives while also negotiating with outside agencies to find training locations and resources. Studying negotiation techniques and skills will help you prepare for success.

How can I improve?
The Air Force has the world-class ability to train and prepare Airmen for specific operational missions. This effective and proven training and education process prepares each Airman to be part of the Joint warfare team. The best way to improve negotiating skills is to study and train (including live and virtual practical exercises if possible). As always, learning on-the-job while working with a successful negotiation mentor will only improve mission success. The first step in preparing yourself to become a better negotiator is to spend time answering a few questions to help you understand your own objective:

1. Why did I come to this website?
- What is your specific situation? Are you deploying? Do you want to improve your negotiation skills? Are you having a specific negotiation problem?

2. What is my interest?
- Negotiation is a basic skill set that has many sub-areas including alternative dispute resolution. What are you looking for?

3. What is my goal?
- Is your requirement for an operational mission, acquisition, personnel issues, etc.?

4. How much time do I have?
- Your time constraints and current location will determine available resources. This website can provide a primer and worksheet to help or you can take a long-term look at negotiation education.

5. How much funding can I devote to negotiation training?

All the downloadable resources on this website are free. Any other expenses, such as travel to negotiation training, would be funded at the unit level. If you need specific help, (then) contact the AFNC for assistance - contact us.

Quick Tips
Air Force General Counsel
The AFNC Partners with the Air Force General Counsel as the education arm for the Air Force Alternative Dispute Resolution Division. Click here to access the Air Force Mediation Compendium which is the guide for the Air Force Mediation Problem Solving process.
AFNC One Stop Shop
Best single and shortest guide to negotiation issues
Best single guide to negotiation preparation