Powerful Conflict Resolution Games to Help You Teach Negotiation

Honing negotiation skills with conflict resolution games

By — on / Teaching Negotiation

Conflict Resolution Games

From complicated strategies to artful subterfuge, conflict resolution games are one of the very best ways to prepare for the challenges of real-world negotiation. Role-play simulations that employ game theory enable participants to analyze negotiations, make strategic decisions, and anticipate their counterpart’s next move.

Drawing on a wide range of disciplines including microeconomics, social psychology, behavioral economics, and management science, the Program on Negotiation has developed a wide range of conflict resolution games, made available through the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC).

Two of the TNRCs most useful negotiation games utilizing game theory and analytics are Win as Much as You Can and Multimode, Inc.

Win As Much As You Can – Featured Conflict Resolution Game

Four participants are charged with a competitive zeal to “win as much as they can.” Through the game’s ten rounds, participants explore the connections between self-interest and group well-being.

In this effective role-play simulation, participants:

  • Explore issues of trust – a fragile commodity that’s hard to build, easy to destroy, and sometimes impossible to replace
  • Evaluate how the situation can dictate whether it’s more beneficial to be cooperative or competitive
  • Appreciate the differences between a one-time negotiation and one that is ongoing
  • Realize how short-term gains can lead to long-term losses – especially when individual success is intertwined with group welfare
  • Learn how to seek reciprocity, build positive coalitions, and create compliance mechanisms where necessary

Multimode, Inc. – Featured Conflict Resolution Game

T. Boyd, a new Vice-President for Budget and Finance at Multimode, Inc., is in the process of negotiating the annual budget of each Multimode department. After receiving orders from the CEO, Boyd has told each department to keep their percentage increases below 5%. However, J. Arnold, a Vice President for Human Resources, has requested an 8% increase to implement a reorganization strategy that should improve competitiveness.

In this real-world, two-party negotiation game, participants will have ample opportunity to:

  • Analyze the advantages and disadvantages of truthfully revealing their bottom lines
  • Practice integrating the concept of fairness into a negotiation
  • Explore ways to unpack and unite the underlying interests of the two sides
  • Evaluate how to fuse constituent interest into the bargaining process
  • Review issues of closure, cost-benefit analysis, financial analysis, nonverbal communication, partisan perceptions, and the “meaning of success”

Free Video – Game Theory & Negotiation Analytics

Watch as three negotiators uncover interests, explore options and test agreements while playing one of the TNRC’s Game Theory conflict resolution games called Three Party Coalition in this free video.

The conflict resolution game Three Party Coalition can be purchased from the TNRC and comes with complete with Teaching Notes.

Take your training to the next level with the TNRC

The Teaching Negotiation Resource Center offers a wide range of effective teaching materials, including

Most TNRC materials are designed for educational purposes— for use in college classrooms or corporate training settings. TNRC cases and conflict resolution games help mediators and facilitators introduce their clients to a processor issue and help individuals who want to enhance their negotiation skills and knowledge.

Role-play simulations introduce participants to new negotiation and dispute resolution tools, techniques and strategies. Videos are also a helpful way of introducing viewers to key concepts, and TNRC books, case studies, and periodicals address the theory and practice of negotiation and conflict management.

Do you think these conflict resolution games could be beneficial to your negotiations? Leave a comment.

Check out all that the TNRC has in store >>

Originally published in September, 2014.


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5 Responses to “Powerful Conflict Resolution Games to Help You Teach Negotiation”

  • These games focus on the world of business, but the principles for learning conflict resolution seem to be the same as might be used with young people facing the challenge of their years searching for solutions or interventions to conflict. Do you have variations on these models that would fit the scheme for youth in K- 12 grades? If not, would be interested in developing such a program?

  • Are these games played online only or is it possible to get offline versions?


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