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AF Negotiation Center offers online cross-cultural negotiations courses

MAXWELL AIR FORCE BASE, Ala. -- The Air Force Negotiation Center here has partnered with the Defense Language and National Security Education Office and Joint Knowledge Online and developed three online courses to help service members successfully navigate their way through cultural differences either abroad or at home station.

The online Cross-Cultural Negotiations Courses partially satisfy the Air Force's requirement that all Airmen attain an appropriate level of competency in fostering collaborative relationships through effective negotiation skills, said the center's deputy director, Hank Finn.

"To satisfy the institutional competency training and education, the Negotiation Center provides instruction or curriculum support to all levels of professional military education and professional continuing education at Air University," he said. "So the follow-on task is to consider how we would address this problem-solving challenge outside our own culture."

The courses, Finn added, would be ideal for service members deploying overseas and interacting with people from other cultures.

The three CCN Courses are hosted on JKO at https://jkodirect.jten.mil. The courses are Civil Affairs Mission--SOUTHCOM (Colombia); Force Protection Mission - AFRICOM (Algeria); and Humanitarian Assistance - PACOM (Philippines). People can complete the free courses on either a desktop computer or download the courses using the JKO Mobile Learning application, which operates on any mobile device.  

The first half of each course introduces students to general negotiation language, terminology, environment assessment and strategy selection. The last half of each course takes students to a specific combatant command with a specific operational mission, giving students opportunities to apply the concepts to real world problems.

Each course takes about two hours to complete, and if students decide to take all three courses, they don't have to repeat the first portion of each course. At the end of each course, students earn a certificate of completion, which unit training managers can use to update the students' records.

Though the courses take students through specific overseas operational missions, service members can apply the valuable course information to their ever more complex home-station environments.

"Virtually every problem-solving process involves some form of negotiation," said Finn. "You engage in negotiations on a daily basis with co-workers, supervisors, subordinates and even family members. The ability to avoid or resolve conflict and solve problems is a valuable leadership skill set."

Along with providing curriculum support to Air University's PME and PCE courses, the Negotiation Center provides instruction to the Army Warrant Officer Career College and the Air Force Special Operations School. To learn more about the center and its offerings, visit http://culture.af.mil/NCE.