Principled Negotiation: Teaching Problem -Solving, Decision -making and Critical Thinking Skills in Leaders

TeachPrincipled Negotiation:Teaching Problem -Solving, Decision -making
and Critical Thinking Skills in Leaders
Michael J. Rybacki
Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership
United States Military Academy
West Point, NY 10996
This paper was completed and submitted in partial fulfillment of the Master Teacher Program, a 2-year faculty
professional development program conducted by the Center for Teaching Excellence, United States Military
Academy, West Point, NY, 2016.
The intended outcome of this literature review is to provide meaningful context on the effective teaching of negotiation skills. The recommended audience s for this essay are individuals seeking to build upon their personal knowledge of negotiation or qualit
y of the negotiation program of study in their organization. This could include faculty members at USMA, other service academies, ROTC instructors, TAC officers, and leaders at nearly every organizational level. This paper will not provide in- depth discuss ion on content, but instead recommendations and insight on how negotiation training may be implemented to increase problem solving, decision- making, and critical thinking skills.  My intention is that this essay will be more than an after action review of the past four years of my involvement in the West Point Negotiation Project. Included in this literature review is a per sonal story that I have used to illustrate the importance of teaching negotiation, reasons to study negotiation, definition of negotiation systems, effective design considerations, and ecommendations for further scholarship.
A Personal Negotiation Story “An opportunity for a bet ter outcome” – Sayed Abad, Afghanistan
In 2007, I wanted to move a road. As a scout platoon leader , I was given a mission to partner with Afghan National Police (ANP) , Afghan National Army (ANA) , and local leaders to protect and improve the we lfare of Sayed Abad , a district located between Kabul and Ghazni in Eastern Afghanistan. I had been in Afghanistan for approximately four months, and the mission began with a relief -in-place (RIP) of a Po
lish platoon that had occupied the small platoon outpost prior to our arrival . Immediately after being assigned this mission, I began analyzing the situation using a standard mission analysis framework.
My initial assessment of the mission and outpost left me most concerned about the threat of a vehicle – borne improvised explosive attack
(VBIED) along the road adjoining one perimeter wall . If attacked, I worried about how I would defend the site with just 32 paratroopers, armed with only rifles, machineguns, and other man- portable weapons. I needed to be able to secure this outpost, afford my Paratroopers rest and refit, and simultaneously patrol and assist the community. Near the outpost was the district center that included a small downtown” area, with about 20 government and commercial buildings, and a residential perimeter of about 60 homes and farming structures. The village was surrounded by farmland, with plots of land adjoining the backs of the residences that surrounded the
district center.

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