January 18th was a great day for NUPRI, Nipissing and CIIAN; it was the day of our first cosponsored workshop on Conflict Resolution Attended by individuals from the Nipissing faculty, administrative staff, Bachelor of Education program, Arts and Science students from multiple fileds, as well as local community members, it was, to say the least, a fantastic success.
Evan Hoffman, director of CIIAN (the Canadian International Institute for Applied Negotiation) shared with attendees a myriad of useful tip, tidbits and mechanism for use in dealing with conflict on a personal level, professionally and internationally.
Those who attended benefited from Dr. Hoffman's first hand experience as a negotiator and researcher in places like Guinea-Bissau and Nairobi, as well as domestically.
The highly interactive workshop offered attendees the opportunity to participate in group and one on one role playing exercises in order to learn through practice some of the key aspects of negotiation and conflict resolution, whether as a participants in a conflict or as a negotiator, attempting to mediate conflicts.
I had the pleasure of attending this workshop as a representative of NUPRI and Nipissing University's Political Science program. Some of the greatest lessons I learned through participation in Dr. Hoffman's unique role playing exercises were how easy it is to fall into the habits of defensiveness and aggressiveness, and how important it is to maintain open and effective communication. Putting all the cards on the table, so to speak, makes negotiating difficult subjects far simpler and makes coming to peaceful resolutions more manageable.
Speaking to other attendees after the workshop revealed that the experience had galvanized in more than a few the drive to pursue further studies, whether through similar workshops or graduate education, in the field of mediation, negotiation and conflict resolution. This is the best possible that NUPRI, Nipissing and CIIAN could have hoped for through offering a workshop such as this one.
For those who were unable to attend this workshop--never fear. NUPRI's continued partnership with CIIAN is certain to yield more workshops and programs of this sort offered at Nipissing in the future. Until then, getting in contact with NUPRI can offer a unique oppotunity to learn about peace practitioners and the like in Canada, and more precisely, our community. Visit our youtube page to see videos of interviews with agents of peace: youtube.com/peacefulagents
If you would like to learn about CIIAN and any future workshops they will be offering throughout the province, visit ciian.org.
Until next time,
(Research Assistant, NUPRI)