Role Reversal Exercise


Andrew Clarkson

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In this exercise participants select an actual negotiation situation from their own lives that they found particularly difficult, and negotiate in the role of their opposing party.



Preparation for this exercise takes 15 minutes. There are two ways to run the negotiation part of this exercise: one takes 60 minutes and the other takes 90 minutes. In the 60 minute version, half of the participants are given the opportunity to present a case. In the 90-minute version, all participants may present a case. The teaching materials are the same in both versions. Debriefing may take 30 minutes or longer, depending on the size of the class.



For all participants:

  • Case Preparation Instructions


Teacher's Package:

  • Case Preparation Instructions
  • Teaching Note


PROCESS THEMES: Assumptions; Bias; Empathetic understanding; Framing; Partisan perceptions, implications; Preparation



The purpose of this case is to increase awareness of how the same "facts" can be perceived differently depending on one's point of view, and to stimulate thinking on the implications of partisan perceptions.

By approaching their cases from new perspectives, participants are able to recognize which of their current arguments are persuasive, and which are not.

Role Reversal Exercise Attributes

Author: Andrew Clarkson
Publisher: Program on Negotiation
Non-English version available: Portuguese, Spanish, German