Practical Negotiation Skills

Two teams in critical negotiation. Is it about winning or ensuring neither loses? And just how good is your preparation?

Learning Objectives

  • Stresses the need for very good preparation
  • Shows the need for targets, fall-back positions and worst case scenarios
  • Shows the importance of taking time out to discuss rather than thinking on the hoof
  • Illustrates the danger of trying to win at all cost rather than compromise
  • The value of knowing when to be open and when to make concessions
  • The importance of reading body language
  • Participants

    3-24 (2, 4 or 6 teams of 3-4 per team)

  • Timing

    2 hours

  • Uses a computer?

    Not required

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The Activity

There are Buyers and Sellers in a retail context. Buyers are seeking to purchase a product that has done well in the past but they have specific needs in terms of quantities and colours. The Sellers are keen but they have old stock they would like to shift first. The colour match with what the Buyers require is not ideal. How can they each get what they want, or close to it? Both teams prepare and then negotiate (with time-outs to discuss new, unexpected information). An Agreement Form is signed at the end and the teams rate each other’s performance.

An intriguing, challenging negotiation that tests skills and suggests good strategies.

Trainer's Role

  • Introduce the activity
  • Divide the group into teams of Buyers and Sellers
  • Issue Team Briefs and Preparation Forms
  • Allow 40 minutes for teams to prepare for the negotiation and complete the preparation forms
  • Allow teams to meet at ‘negotiation tables’, observing the teams in action
  • After 40 minutes issue Agreement Forms for completion by each team. Then issue Performance Summary Forms to each team for completion
  • Lead a Debrief on the issues raised, relate back to the workplace and issue Key Points Handout.

Trainer’s Notes provide full guidance.

Pack Contents

  • Trainer’s Notes
  • Buyers Briefs
  • Sellers Briefs
  • Preparation Form
  • Agreement Forms
  • Summary Forms
  • Key Points Handout

Typical, very realistic negotiation - well received by participants. I was very impressed at the level of engagement by participants. The perceptions each team had of the other (on the summary forms) were revealing – and usefully explored in the debrief. Those who prepared well and had a definite strategy did best.

T. Lawton, Consultant

Really useful activity. Highlights all the key learning points through a realistic situation. Gives everyone the opportunity to participate. Highlights areas for improvement for personal development plans. All the Northgate activities we use are great in delivering exactly what we want.

H. John, John Smith & Son Group

I ran "Practical Negotiation Skills" with two groups so we could compare their approaches - and that worked really well.

Chris Chin, Curious Learning

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