Effective dialogue among groups requires that parties take turns talking and listening, and adhere to certain standards of decorum. Facilitators can play a valuable role as referees, ensuring that parties follow the ground rules and maintaining order. The presence of a neutral facilitator from outside the stakeholders is beneficial in many cases, while at other times a facilitator may be appointed from within a group.
Facilitation is a skill acquired through practice and the adoption of best practices. The Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC) offers a variety of role-play exercises to help facilitators hone their skills in various contexts, from a human resources issue within a company in Binder Kadeer to international conflict between Israelis and Palestinians in The Future of Hebron. The Good Offices in a War-Weary World video introduces a method for facilitating simmering disputes proposed by Program on Negotiation-affiliated professionals.
Seven-person, multi-issue facilitated negotiation among local government, community, business, and environmental representatives trying to reach agreement on a strategy for managing climate change risks in a small, beachfront community.
Seven-person, multi-issue facilitated negotiation among local government, community, business, and environmental representatives trying to reach agreement on a strategy for managing climate change risks in a medium-sized coastal community
Six-person, multi-issue mediation between two construction company representatives and two neighborhood residents over a construction project's safety and noise issues; mediated by two representatives of the bank financing the construction
Seven-party, seven-person, multi-issue negotiation game involving a dispute over inter-provincial water allocations. It explores issues of prediction and monitoring, water sharing, and the environmental adequacy of water flows.
Seven-person, multi-issue facilitated negotiation among local government, community, business, environmental, and engineering representatives trying to reach agreement on a strategy for managing climate change risks in a small coastal city
Seven-person, multi-issue facilitated negotiation among local government, community, business, and environmental representatives trying to reach agreement on a strategy for managing climate change risks in a mid-size coastal city.
Six-person facilitated integrative negotiation among advocates for homeless people, community and business leaders, and a foundation regarding the allocation of a grant to alleviate local homelessness problems
Hannah Payne and Genea Foster under the direction of Lawrence Susskind
A seven-party role-play simulation involving a diverse set of stakeholders who must consider the short-term and long-term public health impacts of climate change while assessing the pros and cons of specific (and conflicting) risk management strategies
Eight-person, multi-issue mediation among regional government, environmental, development, and business interests regarding environmental and economic tradeoffs and ethical issues in the development of a manufacturing plant
Environment and Sustainability Negotiation Role-Play:
Five- or six-person mediation between manufacturing company management and a former employee (and their respective counsel) regarding the employee's departure amid allegations of sexual harassment; optional extra role for manager accused of harassment
David Baharvar under the supervision of Robert C. Bordone
Six- or eight-party mediated restorative justice circle among juvenile offender, offender's parent, victim, community member, facilitators supporting each side, and one or two mediators, regarding a juvenile shoplifting incident
Business and Commercial Dispute Negotiation Role-Play:
A six-party, seven-person (including the mediator), multi-issue mediation among representatives of governmental, business, environmental, recreational, and tribal interests regarding a dispute over developing an instream flow action plan
Environment and Sustainability Negotiation Role-Play:
Seven-party, multi-issue negotiation among a theme-park developer, neighboring mayors, a regional organization, and a national government representative over the development of a proposed theme park; involves coalition-building and cultural issues
Three-person mediation involving representatives of local Korean and African-American communities over racial tensions arising from an alleged shoplifting incident; a city representative serves as the mediator
Organizational Development / Change Negotiation Role-Play:
Five- or six-person, multi-issue, facilitated negotiation among federal agency, state government, environmental, and industry representatives over the regulation of woodstove emissions; optional sixth role for industry association counsel
Lawrence Susskind, Katherine Harvey, David Kovick, F. Peter Phillips, Marc Wolinsky, Cathy Cronin Harris, and Simeon Baum
Six-person facilitated negotiation among representatives of the city, state, developer, insurer, and victims' families regarding the redevelopment of the World Trade Center site following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks
A group of legal, business, and dispute resolution professionals negotiate a six-person, facilitated role simulation regarding the reconstruction of the World Trade Center site in New York City, following the 9/11/2001 terrorist attacks
Prof. Susskind’s Top 5 Environmental Negotiation Teaching Materials
From time to time, the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center asks PON-affiliated faculty to nominate their top five books, top five teaching videos or top five role-play simulations in certain fields or teaching settings. These change periodically.