OTPIC Officially Retired
As of December 2, 2005, the Online Training Program on Intractable Conflict (OTPIC) has been officially retired, and is no longer open to new registrations.
The successor to OTPIC is a course called Dealing Constructively with Intractable Conflicts (DCIC). The new curriculum is built around one of our major projects, Beyond Intractability, and offers a much more extensive and informative set of learning materials than that available through OTPIC.
International Online Training Program On Intractable Conflict
Conflict Research Consortium, University of Colorado, USA
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Although everyone negotiates informally all the time without even being aware of it, formal negotiation is a skill that can be learned through experience and practice. People who negotiate a lot tend to be much more skilled at it than people who have not participated in many formal negotiations. Experienced people are more likely to know what to say when, when to make concessions, when not to, what to concede, what not to, and, in general, how to manipulate the situation to their own advantage. For this reason, negotiation tends to favor the experienced party.
It is possible to overcome this problem, however, with negotiation skills training. Such training is beyond the scope of this site; however, many good texts on negotiation are available (summaries of several can be found at http://www.colorado.edu/conflict) and a few particularly useful excerpts are summarized in this online training program. In general, it is useful to know and understand the difference between integrative (or win-win) negotiation strategies and distributive (or win-lose) strategies. Win-win strategies are most useful when it is possible to develop a solution to a problem in which both (or all) sides win, or at least come out ahead of where they would, were the conflict to continue. When this is possible, following the rules of principled negotiation is usually the best approach.
When the situation is unavoidably win-lose, however, as it often is (at least in part) in intractable conflicts, then principled negotiation is unlikely to work. In that case, either distributive negotiation (which is much more adversarial) or a needs-based approach (such as analytical problem solving) is more likely to yield success.
Identifying Ripe Times for Negotiation
Identifying and Pursuing Negotiable Sub-Issues
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