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While playing Risk, quite often you may find yourself negotiating with other players. Negotiation is a skill that can prove extremely useful when you want to avoid direct conflicts and save your armies and resources for better use later in the game. However, negotiations can be tough. Some people ignore them altogether. Others actively argue that there is no need to negotiate or make deals with other players because these deals can be broken. These player find negotiation difficult and as such either avoid it or to try to justify their negativity philosophically. Remember, negotiation is just another tool. You are not forced to use, nor do you have to avoid it exclusively. Just be good at it and when the right circumstances arise, use the tool to get ahead of others.
Most people learn how to negotiate in the field without much systematic training. There are many established guidelines to follow for better results, though many still fall to the trap of old ineffective approaches. Consider the following example negotiation…
…and on and on and on…
As you can see, these two players are not getting anywhere. They are constantly arguing over positions back and forth and are getting more emotional.
Rather than focusing on positions, negotiators should focus on interests. By trying to understand what other players really want to get out of an exchange, they stand a much better chance of resolving their negotiations and moving towards a win/win solution.
This technique is known as principled negotiation and was developed and popularised by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their bestselling book, “Getting to Yes”. The work has proved to become a classic for anyone interested in negotiation. The basic ideas in this method are explained below:
Let’s look at the example again one more time, this time using principles negotiation techniques.
In short, think of new ideas and possibilities to expand the range of the art of possible so you can find a solution that satisfies both players’ needs.
I am a board game and Risk game enthusiast. I like thinking and talking about strategy in games which has led me to the creation of this website. Although Risk is a classic, I feel one can never get tired of playing this game. Read about what I think of the game and I am always eager to know what you think.
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When a territory is of marginal benefit and is as easy to lose as is to win, then don’t fight over it.