Volume 5, Number 1, Sept 2004
Mediation and Negotiation Skills Training Using Flash
The unique flash animations from Zap Dramatic put you in the middle of disputes between two neighbors or between Union and Management negotiation teams, or dealing with difficult negotiators. Your challenge is to intervene periodically to try to help them resolve their conflict productively, or for you to be able to negotiate your way through the challenges. While the graphic design is rough around the edges, and I (Bill Warters) didn't always understand or agree with the choices that permit one to move on through the simulations, the built-in interactivity certainly provides an interesting way to get into the experience of mediation and negotiation.
Zap Dramatic was founded in July 2000 by filmmaker Michael Gibson and Negotiation and Alternative Dispute Resolution practitioners Allan Stitt, Frank Handy and Lisa Feld. Full access to the animations at the Zap Dramatic site requires a fee of $5 for a month's access (other subscription types are available as well), and includes numerous other animations in addition to those specifically addressing mediation and negotiation. The screenshots below provide a sense of the experience in the core conflict resolution ones available to the general public.
In February 2003, Zap launched an eight-part University Certificate on-line Negotiation Course. The course is made up of 8 modules, 7 of which are simulated negotiations that you will conduct with animated computer characters. The characters make statements, ask questions, use difficult tactics, express strong emotions, and otherwise create difficulties for you.
You have to react to what the character says, answer questions, ask other questions, and try to negotiate the best deal. If you do not negotiate the best deal, you will be told why, and asked to try again. If you get stuck, a "help feature" points you in the right direction.
Four universities around the world now actually offer certificates to users upon completion of the course, which as expected, costs substantially more than $5.00. For more information and a demo version, visit the online course home page.
Angry Neighbors Mediation
Union vs Management Conciliation