Thursday, March 3, 2011

World peace is not easy

Today and tomorrow I am in a class to learn how to negotiate. The instructor is amazing – he managed advertising for Pepsi for over 15 years and then took a job with M&M Mars in advertising before becoming a trainer for this consulting company that was brought in. He uses clips from movies to illustrate his points. One of the class exercises we did today was we split into two groups representing two countries with a long history of war. Our goal was to end the war within eight days. Every day, each side could build a total of 10 missiles and each could launch one missile (some days sides could launch 5). We got to negotiate three times (3rd, 5th, and 7th days). If a country had missiles, getting attacked by a missile would take out 10 of their missiles…if they had no missiles, a missile launched on them would kill 20 million people. I forget our populations and how many missiles we had to start. Long story short, in the end, my country was annihilated and they lost 20 million people. They won the war, but the cost was huge. We had two men on my team who were ruthless. If we had voted with them, we would have won the war on the 4th day. Interestingly, the trainer said he purposely divided women evenly between the two teams because women tend to be the most vicious in the exercise. That was not the case regarding my team.  Part of the game is that decisions have to be made with very little time to do math calculations – both sides made math errors that caused us to make bad decisions.

I am in Findlay, Ohio again tonight. Tomorrow is the last day of class and rain in moving in again. Flooding is bad up here.  The water has receded off the streets (they’re still muddy), but people are bracing for it to happen all over again. I hope to be long gone before the water gets too high. As far as negotiating goes, I can see why neither company would let me do the study I wanted to do. I did everything wrong. Maybe not everything…I didn’t do the important things right!

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