4 Card Negotiation – Communication Game

The art of negotiation is a great skill and we all need to have a little of this to progress in business and clinch that deal!

Today’s team game is focused on a fun communication exercise that allows participants to network with each other and trade for the better of their team in a limited period of time. Selection of playing cards

As in business negotiating with a client or customer to seal the deal is something that we all strive to do and nothing is better than the buzz of another order and an increased bank balance. If you have a sales team that you want to wake up before a meeting and subliminally introduce negotiation into the day or simply provide a fun communication game ‘4 Card Negotiation’ is a great activity.

The purpose of this game is to learn other players perspectives before they can influence them and negotiate the deal – This being the secret to success.


Why use this game?

Do you have a sales team that are too focused on their own goals? Have they become stale in their sales skills? Has your team lost their Va Va Voom when it comes to negotiation and sealing a deal?

If any of the previous apply then this game is a great way to start your training session. I am not saying that this 10 minute activity is going to shape your business  for the future but it is a good ice breaker before you deliver the real business needs and incentivise your team for the better!


Equipment & method

  • A deck of playing cards
  • Cut each card diagonally twice so that you end up with 4 pieces
  • Decide on how many teams you are going to split the group into, mix and divide the card pieces into equal piles

The next step is to provide the teams with their own pile of card pieces of which will not all will be complete cards. Explain to the group that they have a designated period of time (up to you to decide but say 3 minutes or so) to sort out their card pieces and look at which pieces are missing.

Once the time is up explain to the group that the aim of the game is to negotiate with the other teams in order to gain as many complete cards as possible within the next 10 minutes. The team with the most amount of complete cards at the end will be the winner.

You can if you wish tell the teams that they can barter as a team or individuals however letting them work this out for themselves and observing their method is a good observation for managers to see which players have the best negotiation skills.


Debriefing the teams

As with all these team building games there needs to be a debrief session to really understand the purpose and results from the exercise in order to relate this back to the working environment. Start your debrief session by firstly congratulating the winning team and then look at the reasons why they worked better than the other teams. Did they have any particular strategy to their negotiation methods? ( the hard sell, good cop, hard cop routine)

Did some teams work together and combine their efforts in order to progress quicker?

Ask the wining team to explain their successful techniques and get feedback from the other teams on how they felt they approached them to clinch the deal.

Take a look at team who gained the least amount of complete cards and investigate why. Repeat the above and focus on the difference in successful negotiation as apposed to the losing teams method.

Once you have investigated the positives and negatives from the exercise try to relate this back to work and emphasise the need to brush up on the teams communication and negotiation skills for the better of the company.


Trainer tips

  • Keep the teams aware of the time throughout the game to keep them on a deadline
  • If you have a small group of up to 5/8 guests run the game on an individual basis
  • Drop in extra game rules by telling the teams after a specific period of time that they can merge with 1 other team. ( ask the teams during the debrief what made them =decide on this team)
  • Observe, observe! This game is a great insight into individuals personal skills as well as their sales techniques


So there you go a great little fast paced game that will work great for high pressured sales teams and perfect for breaking the ice. Give it a go and if you have any other recommendations or improvements for the game please comment below!

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