The EU Delegation has the overall responsibility for programming and implementation of EU assistance to Bosnia & Herzegovina. The Operations Section in particular is responsible for the assistance that is provided mainly within the framework of the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA).
The complexity of Bosnia & Herzegovina government structures and the interpretation of competencies of different governmental institutions lead to challenging negotiation processes between national and international stakeholders. As a result the working environment for EU Delegation staff is challenging. Staff of EU Delegation Operations Section are often confronted with heavy discussions and time consuming meetings on annual programming of IPA assistance, developing sector specific project proposals and managing project implementation. Conflict management and resolution, negotiation skills, time management and working as a team have become essential management skills which staff need to master in their daily work.
In close consultation with key staff of the EU Delegation Operations Section, MDF Training & Consultancy in collaboration with PARTICIP GmbH, developed a custom-designed training trajectory which consisted of four modules:
Module 1: Team Management/building
Module 2: Conflict Management and Resolution.
Module 3: Negotiation Skills
Module 4: Time Management
The overall objective of the training was to improve the effectiveness of the EU Delegation Operations Section with regards to working as a team, conflict management and resolution, negotiation and time management. For each module specific objectives, agenda, training methodology, background reading and training materials were developed.
The training trajectory was conducted in two stages: Modules 1 and 2 were conducted on 29 and 30 October 2013 in a conference hotel in Konjic. Modules 3 and 4 were conducted on January 16 2014 at the EU Delegation in Sarajevo.
The training trajectory achieved the following results:
- On Team Management/Building (module 1): Participants gained knowledge about the key success factors for team performance and became aware of their own preferred team role and the roles of others. Participants formulated concrete actions to improve team work within the Operations Section and in multistakeholder project teams.
- On Conflict Handling and Resolution (module 2): Participants became aware of their own preferred style of handling conflicts and to recognize the conflict handling style of others. Participants were able to analyse the kind of conflicts that occur in their individual work place and gained practical suggestions on how to use conflict in a more constructive manner.
- On Negotiation Skills (module 3): Participants experienced the value of Principled Negotiation techniques during the training and gained practical tips and tools on how to apply these techniques in real life situations.
- On Time Management (module 4): Participants gained a better understanding of their personal time management challenges and gained practical tips on how to deal with high workload and time pressure. Participants expressed confidence that they would be better able to find practical solutions in their day-to-day work.