Role Playing in Life

We are nearly finished our basic negotiation course here in Tartu and as usual, it is a lot of fun. Yesterday, we got deeply into role playing. We all know that negotiation forces to play roles. But what are the most effective roles to play?

There may be no single right answer here. But I do know the wrong answer. If you want to find a creative solution in a negotiation, you cannot simply assume the role of the teacher/expert. It is tempting to do so, and it is tempting to think that there are no other roles to play.

Wrong on both counts. First, consider what happens when the other side challenges your conclusions. Two experts fight it out like scorpions in a bottle. Using Csikszentmihalyi’s creativity model, there are at least 3 potential roles in this game. They are student, teacher and problem solver. The interaction of these three roles is quite amazing to watch.

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