Fostering a professional and positive working environment is a common challenge in every working space, and the mission environment is no different. Creating opportunities for improving communication and working together in difficult circumstances is crucial. That is why the training team from the Center for International Peace Operations (ZIF) travelled to Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina in the last week of October.
A four-day training on Team and Conflict Management for staff working in international organisations active in civilian crisis management was attended by 15 participants. They represented three major organisations in the region – OSCE (OSCE Mission to Bosnia and Herzegovina), EU (EULEX Kosovo) and International Organisation for Migration (IOM).
During the course, important basics of good communication between possible actors in a mission (military, police, civilian experts) were discussed. However, the main focus was on teaching strategies for conflict resolution, building trust and motivating an international team — important soft skills for leaders everywhere.
The participants expressed their satisfaction with the professional preparation of the training and the comprehensive approach to learning. They pointed out that the training was a unique opportunity to reflect on the topics they don’t have the time to think about in a working environment.
The effectiveness of missions and their ability to deliver on the mandate’s implementation depends on the ability of the mission’s members to collaborate and work together trustfully and effectively, especially in high-stakes situations. Therefore, it is key to enable mission staff, especially on the mid-management level, to constructively deal with interpersonal conflicts and strengthen trust and team-building within their respective area of responsibility. In this way, everyone in the team understands their respective roles and is able to adapt to the fast-paced environment quickly. Additionally, resolving conflicts at the base level prevents them from escalating and potentially affecting the effectiveness of the mission.