Today I’m going to talk about negotiation and communication, or more specifically negotiation and communication in board games. 

Board games can help us with our negotiation and communication skills, believe it or not. 

Negotiation is a really really important leadership skill, it’s something that helps us in our work, it’s also something that helps us in our daily life. For example if we want to buy a new car, we might need to negotiate with the car dealership. 

What kind of games are out there where you’re using these kinds of skills? 

I was introduced to a game called Chinatown relatively recently by a friend of mine. And in Chinatown you are in Chinatown, New York and there’s vacant lots that come up that you can buy. 

But you want to have various shops of the same thing all together, and depending on what properties people have got where, really affects the value of them. So before you even do anything, as soon as you can see where people are, everybody is kind of like “oh you’ve got that, you’ve got that,” and the negotiations starts, and really the game is entirely just based on what happens as a result of these negotiations. 

So being able to plan what you want to do and then figure out “actually I need to get the sushi shop off that person and then have that lot off that person, and that would tie in nicely with my little Empire that I’m building over here”. But if everybody knows that that’s what you’re going to do, then you might not be very successful. 

There’s an element of when do you time it that you’re going to negotiate? 

Do you need to negotiate with somebody and sell something so that you’ve got some money to put you in a better position to negotiate with somebody else? 

Or do you just say well this is all I’ve got? 

And just take that chance? 

So that’s Chinatown and that’s not much else other than negotiation. 

But other games have elements of negotiation in too. 

Catan certainly does, it’s quite well known, negotiations like trading wood for sheep. 

Other games that have negotiation, Monopoly certainly, people put properties up for auction. 

So general negotiation is seen in different games, and most people who play games a lot, will see a bit of a “if you just leave me alone this round, and don’t attack me, then I’ll go easy on you”. Or “I’ll help you out this round, but just remember who helped you for later on”. 

In a nutshell, games can help you with your negotiation and communication skills. 


Games Explorers