On Wednesday, the U.S. State Department posted a solicitation for vendors looking for someone or some company to teach 275 overseas posts the art of negotiation.
This unit will impart a core tradecraft skill taught as part of our three-week course for U.S. Foreign Service Officers headed to their first assignment in a political or economic section at a U.S. mission abroad. The overall course teaches the essential skills, knowledge, and attitudes for U.S. diplomats to succeed in any of 275 overseas posts performing the full spectrum of political and economic work. This module will focus on the complex art of negotiating across diverse cultures to find common ground for advancing mutual interests. Upon completion of training, participants will demonstrate increased understanding and effectiveness in the following areas:
–Describing basic, universal negotiating concepts and vocabulary;
–Identifying objectives and underlying interests of negotiating parties;
–Preparing relevant strategies for diplomatic persuasion;
–Applying appropriate negotiation techniques to a given scenario, including but not limited to: clarifying assumptions, generating and evaluating alternatives, making and receiving concessions wisely, understanding cultural considerations and behavioral preferences, building trust, representing one’s own and others’ interests, and being aware of assumptions;
–Analyzing “Lessons Learned” through debriefing to improve future outcomes.
And here some of us thought negotiation was more of an innate thing. Â Given what we know of the Iranian nuclear deal, this posting is at least a year late, and, uh, will Secretary John Kerry be attending?
If there is any doubt of how much of a disaster not just the Obama Administration is, but the State Department after Secretaries Hillary Clinton and John Kerry in succession this should lay itÂ to rest. Â Any government entity as central to core American political and economic business abroad should have a full on internal program with mentoring and apprenticeship developed and rolling. Â No vendor should be needed, especially with matters of national security on the table.
Interested parties should apply by April 15, otherwise the application will be archived. Â (Of course, that probably means the posting is a formality and a vendor is on the hook. Â Not that it would make thinking Americans feel any better.)