Earlier this year the Harvard Program on Negotiation (PON) hosted a Teaching Negotiation Symposium, with more than 120 negotiation teachers and trainers in attendance. Over 85% of attendees affirmed that video was a “valuable” asset in their classrooms; while more than half of the respondents viewed video was in fact “very valuable” in their teaching.
Over the last decade Movius Consulting has been an innovator in producing and using high-quality film to teach negotiations in commercial settings. The PON’s Teaching Negotiation Resource Center invited Hal Movius, founder and president of Movius Consulting, to present “Reel Life: Making and Using Films to Teach Negotiation.”
Hal noted that video-based negotiation scenarios convey lessons in a different way than a lecture, discussion, or even role-play might convey. Viewers who are well read in negotiation theory can demonstrate explicit knowledge about negotiation theory and skills through answering questions with “correct” and “incorrect” answers. But using videos helps to surface people’s theories-in-use (a term coined by Chris Argyris). Hal described how Movius uses videos to teach negotiation using four different techniques:
- Queries: In this format, an actor describes a negotiation problem and asks the viewer for coaching. Participants debate with one another what the negotiator should do next.
- Single Scenes: This format includes simulations of negotiation preparation meetings, at-the-table negotiations, coaching, facilitative learning, agency dilemmas, side meetings, and approaches to handling difficult people. Actors depict various techniques and skill sets in these role-plays.
- Paired Scenes: This structure compares and contrasts behaviors and negotiation styles in situations described above.
- Stories Set In Organizations: Longer multi-scene videos show a realistic negotiation drama that unfolds over time with protagonists and back-table communications, illustrating common barriers and challenges.
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(Did you enjoy this lightly edited excerpt? Read the Full Article on Harvard Law’s Program on Negotiation Blog)