These are five games that have been found to work well with all ages (12-Adult) without prior negotiation training:
Ћ Buyer-Seller Game
Ћ Planning The Family Vacation
Ћ Surviving a Plane Crash
Ћ Dividing Grandma's Things
Ћ Hunting For Buried Treasure
ииии Buyer-Sellerииии This is a great first negotiation exercise. There are two roles and it takes about 10 minutes to negotiate and 15 minutes to discuss the outcomes. While most of our games have up to 8 roles and a possible role for a team leader/mediator, this game has only two roles and it is not broken into 7 phases or legs of the journey.
Students are play a Buyer of chemicals wishing to enter into a new market as soon as possible. The Seller has created a batch of the desired chemical and wishes to sell it as soon as possible. Seller would like to enter into a long term relationship. The range of outcomes that students will negotiate typically range from $18-$28/gallon of the chemical. The only other terms that need resolution are the date of delivery and who provides the trucks. A typical discussion after the exercise notes the range of outcomes and discusses why it is so varied. And, if time permits, another fruitful discussion touches on what is/are the most important issues in the negotiation (price, delivery date, performance). This is a fun exercise that does not provide a lot of answers, but is very powerful experience of how: 1. How we negotiate affects the outcome of the negotiation, 2. Different styles and approaches to negotiation work better or worse, 3. Typically we use divulge information in a selective manner, and some people will lie, 4. price may not be the most important variable. The exercise does not provide a framework to undertake a multi-party, multi-issue negotiation, but it does perk up the interest of the participants and whets their appetite for the rest of a course or training that will provide a strategic approach to negotiation.
ииии Planning The Family Vacation ииии A family tries to agree on a vacation plan that satisfies their most important interests. When will it be? Where will it be? How much will it cost? What can we do when we're there? This game can be played by players of all ages. It teaches basic problem solving skills and the importance of using both common and differing interests to find valuable solutions to shared problems. The players include Dad who is secretly having problems at work, Mom who is secretly having marital problems, the Teenage Son and Daughter who are both having parent problems, the Pre-teen Son and Daughter, the toddler and the family pet.
ииии Surviving a Plane Crashииии This is a game that is best played with 5-10 roles plus an optional team leader/mediator. A commercial airplane has crashed in central Alaska in autumn. The players are the only survivors. After two days of waiting without any sign of help, the players decide they must design a survival and rescue plan to which they can all agree. This game teaches players the strategic importance of staying focused on the common goal of surviving and the reality that different people can have very different ideas about what is a fair solution to a shared problem. There are up to 10 different roles including: и the co-pilot и the head flight attendant и a homemaker и a building contractor и a soldier и a sales representative и a science teacher и a nurse и a doctor и a fisher (and you can use the optional team leader or mediator role)
ииии Dividing Grandma's Things ииии finds Grandma's eight contentious heirs forced to agree to divide all of the ten most valuable pieces of her estate if they want anything at all. Her prized possessions range from two valuable houses, a classic 1957 Thunderbird to her beloved golden retriever and her despised cat that almost nobody wants. This game is an enjoyable way to help families think about how they would like to distribute an older member's things. The players include Grandma's three adult children, her two adult siblings, her two teenage grand children and her life-long best friend.
ииии Hunting For Buried Treasure ииии involves a proposal by a treasure hunter who wishes to act on one or more treasure maps that s/he believes to be reliable. S/he needs the agreement of the Insurance Company that paid off on the lost treasure, the Governor who is facing a tough election, the Heirs of the Pirate who stole the treasure and made the map, the Residents of the island, an Environmental Group, a Federal Agency, and a Developer from the next island. This is a classic clash of conflicting interests over the best way to manage natural resources. This game teaches the importance of long-term planning to solve difficult, short-term problems. It also illustrates the different kinds of claims of legitimacy that may be available to the parties to recover their fair share of the treasure. The players have Secrets cards that flesh out their roles which include the professional treasure hunter whose pirate map reveals eleven possible buried treasures on the island; the governor of the state which owns the island; the inhabitants' association representing those who live on the island; the inhabitant heirs of the pirate who claim an ownership interest in the treasure; the environmentalists; the developers' association from a neighboring, developed island, the federal agency responsible for regulating coastal lands, an an environmental organization dedicated to preserving natural habitats, and the developer of a neighboring island who has built a hotel complex and has unique problems and capacities