Negotiation Masterclass at Clingendael Institute

ByWeb editor SIB

Negotiation Masterclass at Clingendael Institute

Together with members of SIB-Leiden, SIB-Groningen, and SIB-Utrecht, SIB-Amsterdam went to the Netherlands Institute of International Relations Clingendael. Clingendael is an independent think tank and diplomatic academy which studies various aspects of international relations. Every year, around 2,500 international professionals from over 60 countries participate in courses at the Clingendael Institute.

In September Clingendael starts its 73rdCourse International Relations (LLB), which will get young professionals ready in 12 weeks for an international career. Alumni from LBB can be found at embassies, at the UN, NGOs, in politics, and in international business.

We were at Clingendael Institute on the invitation of Nils de Mooij, a training and research fellow at the Insitute, but above all a former SIB member! De Mooij was going to give us a training in negotiating.

He started with giving us a small exercise, which aimed to explain the importance of procedures during negotiations. The next assignment was to come up with a definition of International Negotiations. At the Institute they use: a process of communication between two or more parties that aims to reach a mutually acceptable agreement that satisfies their interest. The mutual acceptability forms a key to reach the goal of satisfying each other’s interests. In this process, it is of absolute importance not to show the other party your mandate (how far you can go). Furthermore, it is important that parties can deliver a deal which is acceptable: if the other party can only deliver a non-acceptable deal than there is no deal. It is, thus, crucial that parties find out what the bottom line is. Before you start negotiating, parties should be aware of their BATNA: Best Alternative To a Negotiated Deal. BATNAs are critical to negotiation because you cannot make a wise decision about whether to accept a negotiated agreement unless you know what your alternatives are. By setting out your BATNA, you will have a clear position during the negotiations. De Mooij provided us also with some tricks which you use during negations.

After learning the theory behind negotiating, we were given some exercises to apply our newly acquired knowledge in practice.

After the negating session was finished, we made a picture in front of the manor house of the Institute.

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