The Barter Puzzle

The Barter Puzzle

The Barter Puzzle Exercise

The barter puzzle is a good activity if you want team members to solve problems, practice strategies and negotiation skills. You need at least 3 puzzles with 50 pieces or less.

Divide the team members into equal groups of 4-5 people (although not ideal, it is possible to play in groups of 3). Give each group a different puzzle.

It is your task to solve the puzzle, however there is a catch. Each puzzle has had pieces of the other puzzles randomly shuffled.

Explain to all the groups that other teams may have the parts they need. Members must strategize, assign roles, and negotiate with other teams to get the pieces they need to complete their puzzle first.

This activity offers a double challenge: first, they must solve the puzzle in a short period of time, second, they must convince the other team to change the necessary pieces for them.

Moment of reflection: What did you do to get your pieces? What communication challenges did you have?. Did the people on your team have specific roles? For example, a leader, a puzzle builder, a liaison with the other teams, etc.

The topics of this publication: interactionsnegotiationcooperationargumentationmake agreementsstrategy

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