How we work

The Clingendael trainings are unique. The primary focus is not on transferring knowledge, but on developing a skill which will benefit the participants in a variety of situations. We expose the group to negotiations that closely resemble the work environment of humanitarian professionals We use using the following methods during our training:

  • Interactive lectures
  • Bilateral negotiation simulations
  • Multilateral negotiation simulations
  • Individual negotiation profiles and self-assessment
  • Group assignments and discussions, including group reflection on lessons learned

Our trainings on humanitarian negotiations contain the following elements:

  • Framework of humanitarian negotiations
  • Using interests, positions and power for effective negotiation
  • Relationship-building in a particular context
  • Dealing with stress and time pressure
  • Conflict analysis and the different tools that can be used
  • Main challenges and dilemma’s in humanitarian negotiations
  • Communication skills between field workers and management
  • Personal negotiation styles
  • Negotiating with cultural differences

What you can expect

During the negotiation skills training for humanitarian aid workers, we focus on providing you with practical tools and concepts. Through simulations and role-play we encourage participants to analyse how they can apply the tools and how that can change their impact as a negotiator. Each exercise is extensively debriefed in order to closely analyse insights, and to exchange ideas on how to apply this in one’s own work surrounding. 

“The simulations, that’s when we could learn in practice about everything we had learned in theory. It made me understand and develop my own negotiations skills especially as we received good feedback to improve our own skills.”

phases of negotiation

At Clingendael we believe there is no such thing as a perfect negotiation, and therefore you will not leave the training with a ‘blue-print’ for a perfect negotiation. There are many aspects that influence a negotiation, and tactics that may work in a specific setting may not work in another negotiation setting. Instead we offer a set of tools and techniques that you can use, and which you can adapt to your specific situation. The negotiation skills training is an interactive and intensive training which also highly depends on the input and participation of its participants. Even though we are fully aware of the complex context humanitarian aid workers work in, and how negotiating may interfere with the humanitarian principles, we do not spend much time during our trainings on when or why you should or should not negotiate. We believe that this is specific to the context, situation and organization, and should therefore be discussed internally at your organization.

“I needed to understand what negotiation is all about and how to apply it in critical situations / conversations in life. I must say that I got more than I had [hoped] for during the sessions. Not only did I understand the theory but also had sufficient opportunities to put this into practice with different scenarios. I also got to know myself as a negotiator, and explored strategies of getting out of my comfort zone.”