Working It OutA Handbook on Negotiation for High School Students

A 27-page handbook designed to introduce high school students to problem-solving, interest-based negotiation

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Working It Out is a 27-page handbook designed to introduce high school students to problem-solving, interest-based negotiation. Written by Getting to YES co-author Roger Fisher and Difficult Conversations co-author Douglas Stone, Working It Out presents core concepts from both books in a clear, simple format with plenty of age-appropriate examples from family, school, workplace and social contexts.

Working It Out explains the value of:

  • understanding how different people may see the same situation differently;
  • actively listening, and helping the other person to listen;
  • becoming aware of and dealing with emotions in negotiation;
  • focusing on underlying interests rather than on demands or positions;
  • inventing new options for solving problems;
  • reaching agreements based on what’s fair;
  • knowing when to walk away from a negotiation; and
  • preparing to negotiate;


From the Introduction:

“Why should I read this book?” you may be wondering. “I’m not a negotiator. I’m just a regular high school student.”

You may not be negotiating peace in the Middle East, but every day you negotiate a lot more than you may think. Your mother wants you to take care of your little brother Saturday night. You were planning on seeing a movie. Your boss wants you to come to work a half hour earlier every day. You think you come in too early as it is. Your best friend just went out with someone you’ve been dating. You want to talk to your friend about it, but aren’t sure what to say.

Each of these situations involves people dealing with differences. They all involve an exchange of ideas and a give and take. And in our view, they are all negotiations. The survival of the planet may not depend on the outcome of these negotiations, but to you, they are pretty important.

It’s tough to be a good negotiator. You may have noticed that many times when you negotiate or talk with people about issues that affect both of you, things don’t go as well as you had hoped….

But there’s a better way. It takes some practice to learn it, but if you do, your negotiations are more likely to go smoothly and you are less likely to feel ripped off. It’s called problem solving negotiation, and it’s designed to help you avoid some of the problems you encounter when you use positional bargaining.




Working It OutA Handbook on Negotiation for High School Students Attributes

Roger Fisher and Douglas Stone of the Harvard Negotiation Project
Program on Negotiation (1990; updated 2007)

PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center

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Soft copy vs. hard copy

You may order this role simulation in either soft copy (electronic) or hard copy (paper) format. If you select the soft copy option, you will receive an e-mail with a URL (website address) from which you may download an electronic file in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. You will have one week to download your materials from when you receive the email. You are then only authorized to use, print, or share the materials as many times as the number of copies you purchase. The TNRC charges for use of this simulation on a per-participant basis. Therefore, you must purchase a separate copy of this simulation for each person who will be participating, regardless of the number of roles in the simulation. You will only receive a link to one electronic file, which includes all general instructions, confidential instructions, and any teaching notes for the simulation. You should separate out the instructions before distributing to participants.

If you select the hard copy option, you will receive paper copies of this role simulation via the shipping method you select.

For additional information about the soft copy option, please visit our FAQ section, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at or 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.) or 301-528-2676 (outside the U.S.).

Please note: At the present time, Teaching Negotiation Resource Center soft copies are compatible with the following versions of the Adobe Acrobat Reader: English, German, French, Spanish, Swedish, Portuguese, Japanese, and Korean. If you have a different version of the Acrobat Reader, you may wish to download one of these at, or contact the PON Teaching Negotiation Resource Center at, 800-258-4406 (within the U.S.), or 301-528-2676 (outside the U.S.) for further assistance. This restriction does not apply to the freely available Teacher’s Package Review Copies.

Ordering a single copy for review

If you wish to review the materials for a particular role simulation to decide whether you’d like to use it, a PDF, or soft copy, version of the Teacher’s Package for the simulation is available as a free download from the description page of most role simulations and case studies. All Teacher’s Packages include copies of all participant materials. In addition, some Teacher’s Packages (but not all) include additional teaching materials such as teaching notes or overhead masters.

Ordering copies for multiple participants

To order multiple copies of a role simulation for use in a course or workshop, simply enter the total number of participants in the box next to “Quantity.” There is no need to calculate how many of each role is required.

If you are ordering hard copies, the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center will calculate the appropriate numbers of each role to provide, based on the total number of participants. For example, if you wish to order a 2-party role simulation for use with a class of 30 students, you would enter “30” in the box next to “Quantity.” You then would receive 15 copies of one role and 15 copies of the other role, for use with your 30 participants. As another example, if you ordered 30 participant copies of a 6-party role simulation, you would receive 5 copies of each role.

In the event that the number of participant copies you order is not evenly divisible by the number of roles in the simulation, you will receive extra copies of one or more roles. Participants receiving the extra roles may partner with other participants playing the same role, thus negotiating as a team. So, for instance, if you ordered 31 copies of a 2-party role simulation, you would receive 15 copies of the first role and 16 copies of the second role. One of the participants playing the second role would partner with another participant playing that same role, and the two would negotiate as a team.