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Foltek Language & Policy Bridge, LLC

FLP Bridge Training Programs

Conflict Resolution

What are the causes of conflict? What are the measures for keeping it from occurring or recurring? And how can it be prevented, managed or solved? The answer to these questions may vary, but one thing is certain: the “ability” to prevent or solve conflict can only be improved through skill acquisition and practice.

Conflict arises from differences, both minor and major, and is a normal part of any healthy relationship. After all, two people – let alone people within any given society, organization, or nation – can’t be expected to agree on everything, all the time. Conflict is more than just a disagreement, and learning how deal with it, rather than avoiding it, is very important. Conflict spreads when ignored, and it is critical to strike at its root when it arises.

Conflict Resolution

Conflict resolution is a way for two or more parties to find a peaceful solution to a disagreement, which may be personal, emotional, political or financial. Conflict resolution is appropriate for almost any type of disagreement. Usually, when a dispute arises between two or more parties, the best course of action is negotiation. The parties resort to negotiation to produce a solution that all of them can agree to, and to improve the relationship, rather than hurt it. The purpose of the conflict resolution process is for the parties to work as quickly as possible to find common ground before the relation is broken off.

Conflict resolution, guided by negotiation, can be good for all parties involved. Often times, each side gains more by participating in negotiations than by avoiding the issue or walking away. In this way, conflict resolution offers an opportunity for growth, enabling parties to get a “piece of the pie” that might otherwise be out of reach. Finding peaceful solutions to difficult situations through conflict resolution helps parties avoid wasting time, energy, reputations and resources.

Through our conflict resolution training programs, FLP Bridge seeks to empower people at both local and global levels to work together in an effort to change their lives and relationships with others. FLP Bridge helps connect people, ideas and resources, working alongside professionals experienced at helping individuals and organizations to resolve interpersonal and other conflicts, whether the tension is the result of disagreements among individuals, state and individuals, or employer and employees.

At FLP Bridge, our approach is simple: help clients identify the skills and strategies that they already possess that can be applied and utilized to resolve conflict. Our curriculum focuses on an interest-based and a non-violent conflict resolution approach personalized to participants’ needs which does not involve complex theories or behavioral analyses. Instead, our approach emphasizes giving participants a toolkit of methods, techniques and skills that can be selected for specific occasion.

Our programs help participants identify different types of conflict, provide them with the relevant skills and techniques to use in order to avert or solve conflict, and teach them how to apply their newly acquired skills and techniques in real life situations through exercises and simulations. Conflict needs to be prevented, solved or managed at the smallest cost possible, in a professional and dignified manner. The skills and techniques we teach our participants combine theory and practice and are designed to help participants do just that.

We recognize that practice makes perfect. For learning to be effective, it has to be memorable, fun and immediately applicable. As part of its effective and productive communication method, FLP Bridge uses an easily remembered map of processes and strong visual imagery to produce impact and enable participants to develop active listening skills. These listening skills combined with other negotiation skills and techniques are crucial for participants to achieve a better outcome in line with their interests and needs.

Negotiation

It is inevitable that, from time to time, conflict and disagreement will arise, as people find themselves on opposing sides because their needs, wants, goals and beliefs differ. Without negotiation, such disagreements and conflicts may lead to arguments and resentment, resulting in feelings of betrayal and insecurity. Negotiation seeks to forge agreements without breaking the line of communication and causing more problems in the future.

In the simplest terms, negotiation is a discussion between two or more parties who work together to find a solution to their shared problem. Negotiation is a means through which people settle their differences by finding a common ground and making compromises in order to reach an agreement. It is a process through which the parties to a conflict expect give and take, as they usually may not want or need exactly the same thing.

Negotiation

This interdependence can be either win-lose or win-win in nature, and the type of negotiation required will vary accordingly. This interpersonal or inter-group process can occur at a personal level, as well as at a corporate or international (diplomatic) level. Negotiations typically take place because the parties wish to create something new that neither could do on their own, or to resolve a problem or dispute between them.

FLP Bridge’s skills development training programs introduce a problem-solving approach to negotiation that provides a framework for conducting negotiations to focus on meeting the needs and interests of the people or parties in the conflict. Our programs are designed for those who assist others in solving conflicts, and also for those who wish to improve their understanding of negotiation and develop their skills and effectiveness in that process.

The programs also focus on equipping participants with different skills sets, techniques and tools, to enable them to grasp the benefits of applying a core negotiation framework through the use of powerful negotiation exercises and simulations. Participants engage in role-plays and discussions of hypothetical, realistic problem situations in order to experience the negotiation process firsthand, enhance their understanding of the concepts involved, and develop their skills.

Through our training programs, we provide a conceptual framework for understanding and approaching negotiation in everyday life situations or formal planning and public policy contexts. Issues that surface in negotiation are examined, as are the barriers (substantive, strategic and cognitive) that can impede effective negotiations.

Listening is essential in effective and productive communication. Negotiation training helps people understand how to listen, what to listen for and how to interpret what they hear within a much broader framework of understanding. By becoming good listeners, people naturally become good communicators, and thus better negotiators.

In negotiation settings, people have a tendency to focus on differences and disregard or ignore the common interests and goals they may have. When problems arise in communication, the natural inclination is to withdraw to opposing sides and to highlight the negative aspects of the other. Our goal is to help participants be soft on the people and hard on the problem. The techniques we offer at FLP Bridge enable participants to develop a sense of mutual understanding between them and their negotiating counterparts, while also helping them highlight common ground, find a solution to their shared problems, and reach a mutually beneficial agreement.

FLP Bridge teaches participants the skills and techniques for preparing and planning for a negotiation process. We excel at providing clients with the most effective and efficient ways to apply such techniques for the myriad challenges present in conflict. Our programs are optimized to produce the most effective results through their customization to address the specific needs of participants.

Mediation

Mediation is a form of assisted negotiation in which a neutral professional third-party helps the disputing parties create a voluntary settlement to their dispute. The mediator meets jointly and separately with the parties to review issues and explore possible proposals for resolution. The goal is to arrive at a mutually agreeable settlement as quickly as possible, thereby avoiding the time, expense and uncertainties of protracted litigation. Participation in mediation is voluntary and confidential. Agreements reached as a result of mediation are binding by mutual consent of parties.

During a typical mediation session, the mediator helps the parties explore underlying issues, clarify misunderstanding and ambiguities, and address any personal, emotional and relationship issues. The mediation helps the parties gain a different view of the dispute and better understand each other’s interests and needs. The mediator provides an impartial perspective on the issues in dispute and assists the parties to explore opportunities of mutual gain and realistic trade-offs.

Mediation

Mediation offers participants a way to test proposals before committing to them, and enables parties to shape settlement terms that ensure prompt and reliable compliance. The efficiency and reliability of mediation is helpful even when a case does not settle, because the issues are often narrowed and clarified. Mediation can help people enhance the quality of their dispute resolution by focusing on the most beneficial outcome possible. Mediation can resolve a dispute respectfully and with integrity without undermining or harming business or personal relationships.

FLP Bridge empowers participants to become good mediators who act as neutral parties to facilitate constructive dialogue and productive negotiation between parties in disagreement. Through our mediation training programs, participants will acquire the practical skills and techniques for facilitating negotiations between disputing parties, as the success of any mediation relies on the skills of the mediator. Participants will be able to learn and develop new skills while working in various disputes and negotiation scenarios, irrespective of their levels of complexity and contention.

At FLP Bridge, we use a series of lectures, presentations, interactive discussions, small group and one-on-one simulations and exercises that are designed to actively engage each participant in the mediation process. Through our programs, participants will develop core mediation skills and be equipped with techniques and strategies to help parties find a basis for resolving their differences on terms that are acceptable and beneficial to both sides. They will also be able to broaden their understanding of ways to resolve disputes, enhance their ability to listen, express empathy, develop options, understand interests and forge agreement.

Cross-Culture

Beliefs, values, traditions and personal experience can represent a suite of challenges that may determine the outcome of your partnership when doing business in a foreign culture. Our cross-culture program is designed for people working in a new culture or doing business with counterparts from other cultures. We help them learn how to transcend cultural barriers and connect effectively with others from different cultures.

Cross-cultural differences can impede on communication and interpersonal relationships. In the work place, this occurs daily, and people from different cultures interact and are expected to perform and make decisions. Cross-cultural training aims to develop awareness between people, as a common cultural framework does not exist in order to promote clear lines of communication and better relationships.

Cross-Culture

As individuals, we all encounter certain barriers, such as preconceptions, prejudices and stereotypes, which obstruct our understanding of others. Cross-cultural training demystifies unfamiliar cultures by presenting them under an objective light. While learning about other cultures, we slowly chip away barriers and engage in more open relationships and dialogues. When people’s barriers are lowered, mutual understanding leads to greater trust. Once trust is established, altruistic tendencies naturally manifest allowing for greater cooperation and more productive and beneficial interaction.

FLP Bridge’s cross-cultural training programs are customized to meet the individual needs of each participant. We help participants understand the challenges of living and working with people from other cultures. Participants’ respective circumstances, specials interests and needs, and existing knowledge are just some of the factors we take into consideration when creating our enriching and fully integrated training programs.

Our programs teach participants to develop “great people skills” that can be applied in any situation and all walks of life. By understanding the influence of culture and its effect on the actions of others, participants will, among other things:

  • Learn to deal with others in a more sensible and understanding manner;
  • Be able to maximize the cultural sensitivity of real or fictional simulation groups that include people from several cultures;
  • Learn how to avoid misunderstanding based on cultural differences, and communicate verbally and non-verbally with people from other cultures;
  • Improve understanding of local cultural differences and communication styles that exist globally and within the United States;
  • Recognize how culture influences our perceptions, values, attitudes, beliefs, communication, behavior, and daily lives;
  • Learn to adjust behavior when interacting with people from other cultures;
  • Review the historic, political, educational, and economic background of the host country, highlighting how these aspects influence current events and today’s social values and problems; and
  • Review the common causes of culture shock and how to recognize and manage them.

Through FLP Bridge’s cross-cultural training programs, participants are exposed to facts and information about their own cultures, preconceptions, mentalities and worldviews that they may otherwise had not contemplated. When they learn more about themselves, they become better equipped to learn about others. Participants will come out of their training as empowered and confident individuals with a sense of control over previous cross-cultural challenges and the assumptions about the “other” that underpin such challenges.

Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR)

In countries emerging from conflict or serious political and social crisis, a successful transition between conflict and peace often depends on the creation of a climate of confidence and security, which paves the way for a range of peacebuilding and recovery activities to take place. The process of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) is an output of conflict resolution, and a facilitator of peacebuilding. DDR involves the standing down of parties to the conflict and the reintegration of ex-combatants and their families into civilian life.

DDR seeks to address the post-conflict security challenge that arises from ex-combatants being left without livelihoods or support networks during this critical transition period. The transition process for states or nations emerging from armed conflict requires effective skills, strategies and tools to support the political and socioeconomic needs of these states or nations. DDR programs represent a unique opportunity in these post-conflict environments.

DDR

FLP Bridge’s training programs are based on the Integrated DDR Standards (IDDRS) training modules developed by the UN Inter-Agency Working Group on DDR (IAWG). The purpose of our programs is to enhance efficiency of the international actors and participants involved in DDR programs across the globe by strengthening their individual skills. Participants will acquire a comprehensive and operational understanding of the strategic principles involved in planning and implementing DDR programs, as well as develop the practical skills required for implementing DDR principles in post-conflict environments.

Our training programs combine the experiences from different DDR programs with theoretical views on the subject, and help participants understand the nature of conflict and peacebuilding. Participants gain a general knowledge of such topics as the role of the military and police, combatant profiles, vulnerable groups, cross-border population movement, foreign combatants, donors, gender, HIV/AIDS and other cross-cutting issues like the elderly, youth, women and disabled within the DDR process.

At FLP Bridge, our teaching approach uses a variety of presentations involving panel discussions, group work and role-play, and simulations. The specific modules covered throughout our course, workshop or seminar will expose participants, for example to the definition of the term DDR, the legal and policy frameworks that are embedded in DDR programs, as well as the different components of these programs, and the various actors and institutions involved in such programs.

Participants in our programs are usually civil servants, police and military personnel, relief workers, academics, and representatives from intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations. Such participants are, for the most part, expected to have a basic knowledge of peace support operations and a need or interest to learn about DDR. Throughout their training, they develop skills in DDR strategies, planning and implementation, conflict mapping, negotiation, mediation, conflict resolution and acquire a working knowledge of small arms and light weapons, disarmament and destruction of weapons, and the challenges of social and economic reintegration of ex-combatants in post-conflict environments.

FLP Bridge works with state officials and intergovernmental organizations to develop and improve their policies, strategies and capacity building in areas of small arms and light weapons control and reduction, job creation in post-conflict environments, and assist non-governmental organizations so that their staffs are trained, equipped and ready for peacebuilding operations.

Civil-Military Relations

There are thousands of civil-military relationships at the individual level, which manifest in daily interactions between soldiers, gendarmes, and police officers (security forces) with the public. Collectively, these individual relationships produce an overall level of mutual trust and respect. Good societal-level civil-military relations are an important asset to security forces and society alike. People who fear security forces are less likely to report problems or provide intelligence than those who trust them.

For civil-military relations to be efficient, productive and successful, security forces and civilians (through civil society) will need to engage each other. When civilians and security forces interact, their relations may have positive or negative impacts on each other. For example, what happens when security forces are not paid appropriately? There may have an obvious negative impact on members of the security forces, but also on civil-military relations in society and at the individual level. These are issues that civic engagement can help redress, with positive impacts.

Civil-Military

At FLP Bridge, our civil-military relations training programs are designed to bring together the military/police, or better, the security forces and civilians involved in a range of field operations worldwide, including peacekeeping, relief and recovery efforts, and elections security, among others. The purpose of our programs is to empower civilians and security forces who often find themselves working alongside each other, to find a neutral space where they can engage each one another and have an open and productive dialogue in view to create synergies for future collaborations.

Owing almost exclusively to our diverse and dynamic audiences, our training programs help forge connections among civilians, as well as between civilians and security forces on the other hand through a blend of expert presentations, real life simulations and exercises, case studies, plenary discussions, shared experiences and small group activities. FLP Bridge values dialogue, cooperation, practical solutions, participatory learning and an outside the box approach, which help participants build trust and work together toward their goals.

Elections Security

Ideally, election security is the exclusive responsibility of the police. It is a specific case of the general responsibilities of police to uphold internal law and order. This includes providing for the safety and security of all candidates and rallies during the campaign season, voters and polling places on election-day, people and property during post-election events. The security of voting materials and electoral commission offices and staff in all stages of the election also falls under generic police responsibilities.

However, within the broader institutional array, the Electoral Management Body (EMB) or electoral commission has the primary responsibility for elections. It is responsible for securing the electoral process (administratively speaking), people and property during the election process. The EMB often has direct responsibility for developing and implementing an election security strategy. It is important to note that, for example, an independent electoral commission may be in charge of elections in developing countries, while the ministry of the interior may be in charge of elections in developed countries.

policy training and education solutions

Regardless of the entity in charge of elections, planning elections security is a very complex process, as there is a necessity to determine how much security is enough for the smooth progress of the process, how security forces are to be distributed, to have in place a contingency plan, and to communicate, for example, what security personnel must do (be present at each polling place), and must not do (enter the polling place). These security plans cover the pre-election, election-day, and post-election phases.

Based on the knowledge that elections security is actually everyone’s responsibility, and that civilians and the security forces involved in the election process play vital roles, the main objective for FLP Bridge elections security programs is to bring all stakeholders and interested parties together to discuss their roles and responsibilities, establish trust and rapport, and work together to prepare for the electoral process.

FLP Bridge uses a variety of approaches, such as presentations, case studies, experience sharing, plenary discussions and small group activities, through which invited participants and key stakeholders including relevant members of the government, electoral commission, police, armed forces, political parties, civil society organizations and media will share information and work collaboratively on the elaboration of an election action plan that they may use to prepare and plan for the elections. Participants will come out of their training more empowered and more confident in the organization of their elections.

Contact us so that we can discuss together how we can help you meet your policy training needs.