Negotiation Exercise: Compete and Collaborate Simultaneously

Negotiation Exercise: Compete and Collaborate Simultaneously


This exercise is ideal for team building and negotiation where delegates learn to share their resources and also negotiate with each other in a competitive environment. They will learn that cooperation can be much more effective than direct competition or being difficult.


Complete a specific task using your own group’s resources or negotiate to obtain resources from others.

What You Need

  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Sellotape
  • Magnets
  • White sheets
  • Blue sheets
  • Yellow sheets
  • Green sheets


  • Divide the delegates to 4 groups.
  • Distribute the resources as follows:
    • Group 1. Scissors, White sheets,
    • Group 2. Glue, Blue sheets,
    • Group 3. Sellotape, Yellow sheets
    • Group 4. Magnets, Green sheets
  • Explain that each group must complete a task. They can use their own resources and can also negotiate to borrow or exchange resources with other groups.
  • Print the following task on separate papers and distribute one task to each group at random.
  • Tasks:
    • Make a model of a TV with an antenna. You can use any material as long as the model resembles a TV.
    • Make a paper chain. Each chain must have a different colour to its adjacent chain.
    • Make a cube. Each side must have a different colour in relation with the sides adjacent to it.
    • Make a bridge with two bases one meter apart.
  • Allocate 15 minutes for this part.
  • Time all groups when they finish their task. Once they declare that they have finished, they can no longer participate on the tasks or share their current resources.
  • At the end of the allocated time, stop everyone from working on their task and examine their achievements. The group who has completed the task successfully and was the first to do so wins.
  • Follow with a discussion.


Explaining the Exercise: 5 minutes

Activity: 15 minutes

Group Feedback: 10 minutes


How hard was it to get something from the other teams? Did you cooperate with them easily? Was the atmosphere too competitive? Did you nominate a leader for your team to coordinate your activities? What was the secret to the success of the winning team? Why did the losers lose? When a group finished and took resources of the market, what happened to other groups and their designs? Could they adapt easily with the lack of certain resources (Example: tearing a sheet rather using a scissor as a compromise or using glue and paper as a replacement to sellotape)?


You can adjust the difficulty or the theme of this exercise by changing the supplies and the tasks to suit your specific needs.

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

The Most Similar Exercises & Articles to this in Order of Similarity Are:

The House of Ropes Team Building Exercise
Powerful Strategic Planning Exercises to Include in Your Courses
The Empathy Expedition: Leadership and Change Management Game
Team Building Exercise: Clock Types
Caterpillar Traverse
Hands and Strings Exercise

Training Resources for You

Course Design Strategy

Course Design Strategy

Available as paperback and ebook

Training Resources

Free Training Resources

Download a free comprehensive training package including training guidelines, soft skills training activities, assessment forms and useful training resources that you can use to enhance your courses.

Body Language Guide

Our Comprehensive Guide to Body Language

Train the Trainer Guides

Train the Trainer Resources

Get Insights - Read Guides and Books - Attend Courses

Training Materials

Get downloadable training materials on: Management Training, Personal Development, Interpersonal Development, Human Resources, and Sales & Marketing

Browse Full Product Catalogue About Training Materials