conflict negotiation

posted October 2, 2013

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Farmers and Landowners: Learn to Negotiate and Manage Conflict
Are you a farmer trying to lease land? A landlord renting to a tenant? A food producer seeking entry into an existing wholesale or restaurant market?

Whether transacting a lease, a sales agreement or a worker contract, farmers and landowners benefit from good negotiating skills – the subject of a day-long workshop in November at MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center in Unity.

Negotiation and conflict are a part of our daily lives – with customers, suppliers, co-workers, business associates, family members and others. Despite this pervasiveness, negotiations often do not go as well as we would like.

On Thursday, Nov. 21, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (with registration opening at 8:30 a.m.), the Maine Agricultural Mediation Program (administered through Volunteers of America Northern New England) in partnership with MOFGA, Land for Good and Maine Farmland Trust will host a program targeted to farmers and landowners on general negotiating concepts with examples specific to agriculture.

Through lecture and hands-on practice (role plays, simulations, small group activities), participants will understand the negotiation process and techniques and skills to build a stronger negotiation base; will discover a toolkit to manage negotiations successfully; and will learn to communicate effectively in negotiations – including the power of effective questioning and listening and of seeing other points of view.

The workshop will enhance participants’ confidence in responding to the changing circumstances of negotiations. Participants will understanding their own negotiation style and will become flexible in using alternative styles. They will also identify possible negotiation outcomes.

To register for Negotiation and Conflict Management Skills for Farmers and Landowners, please visit www.mofga.org. Pre-Registration is required, and a $15 fee covers lunch and handouts. Registration is limited and closes on Nov. 13.

PROGRAM TOPIC OUTLINE
Communication skills
Listening
Reframing
Barriers

Meeting the needs of all the stakeholders: interest-based, consensus-building, collaborative problem solving approach to negotiation

Understanding one’s style

Overview to the negotiation process

Understanding issues

Information gathering/exchange – understanding the problem(s)

Separating people from problems

Breaking big issues into smaller ones

Caring about needs – not positions

Building trust

Being creative – broadening options, brainstorming, looking for mutual gain

Conflict management

Importance of relationships

Dealing with different types of people

Using neutral experts

The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA, www.mofga.org), formed in 1971, is the oldest and largest state organic organization in the country. The purpose of the Association is to help farmers and gardeners grow organic food, fiber and other crops; protect the environment; recycle natural resources; increase local food production; support rural communities; and illuminate for consumers the connection between healthful food and environmentally sound farming practices.