Conflict resolution skills – Negotiation skills training

Stage of the project

Working phase

Aims

  • Participants negotiate with each other with the aim of obtaining a win-win outcome

Settings

  • group of at least 4 people
  • time: approx. 30 minutes
  • material:
    • separate worksheets with the task for partner A and partner B
    • one pen for each participant

Learning Outcome

  • finding arguments to support one’s goal
  • anticipating the opponent’s arguments
  • communicate one’s arguments convincingly

Activities

Preparation

Step 1: Trainer prepares a worksheet for partner A saying: ‘I want to do a language course in another country’ and a worksheet for partner B saying, ‘I want to do a language course in the country that I live in’.

Step 2: Trainer divides the group into pairs.

Step 3: Make sure every participant has a pen. If not, distribute pens to the participants.

Implementation

Step 1: Trainer explains the activity as follows:

  • participants will receive a worksheet with a task
  • each participant gets 5 minutes to gather arguments to support his/her goal
  • when time is up participants discuss with their partner for 10 minutes trying to reach an agreement

Step 2: Trainer gives the task: “You want to do a language course together. You just need to decide where.”

Step 3: Trainer announces the beginning of the first five minutes to find arguments in favour of one’s goal. Each participant gathers their arguments individually.

Step 4: Trainer announces the end of the first 5 minutes and the beginning of the discussion phase. Partner A and B exchange their arguments.

Step 5: After 10 minutes, the trainer announces the end of the discussion phase.

Reflection

After the activity the trainer facilitates a reflection exercise about the activity. Questions for discussion could be:

  • Have the participants reached an outcome? If so, which outcome?
  • Which arguments did they use?
  • How did they reach a win-win outcome?
  • Were they both happy with the outcome?
  • How did they both ‘win’?
  • What did each participant appreciate about the other’s approach?

Comments

  • If needed and if time is available, more time could be given to gather arguments to support one’s goal.
  • The topic to be discussed and the roles of the partners could be changed to better suit the needs and interests of the participants.
  • When forming the pairs, make sure to team-up participants who usually don’t work together as this usually makes the discussion more efficient.