• Air Force Vistors at DMZ.

Air Force Vistors at DMZ.

(Daren Reehl AF Photo)

  • 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
Welcome to the Air Force Negotiation Center (AFNC) website. The AFNC provides this site to inform you about the art and science of negotiation. Negotiation is a skill utilized on a regular basis, whether as an engagement tool today's military leaders or as an integral part of problem solving. Skillful negotiation is a proven, positive tool for success. For more information on the AFNC's proven record of education, training, and research, please view our mission brief. Our goal is to ensure success in current and future negotiations.

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 are in need of preparation for undertaking negotiations with coalition and 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.

As an example, 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 (delete the extra space) 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, 31 March 2011

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 charged with mission accomplishment working with people they have no direct authority over.
In the past, Military education and training did not emphasize negotiation as a leadership and management tool. Leaders did use negotiation, but traditionally looked to application of power for mission success. Military leaders were and are also quick to use legitimate authority to solve problems. We have led, fought, and trained in this manner for years.

Military leader still have the ability to apply force, but is 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. Necessary forces now available to the commander 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 tools when you have no direct authority over their actions. Negotiation will be a key skill to successfully complete your mission or task.

Negotiation will not be just an operational skill. As resources shrink, military leaders will negotiate each day. Just sitting down with your peers 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. Now add the Joint community to this process and you are now with cross-cultural issues. 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 ADR
The AFNC Partners with the Air Force General Counsel Alternative Dispute Resolution Division. Click here to access the Air Force Mediation Compendium.
AFNC One Stop Shop
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