Training Toolkit: Card Pieces 1

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Training toolkit

Card Pieces

Card pieces is a negotiation activity aiming to introduce the idea of empathy in negotiation and enable participants to practice their negotiation skills. Sales managers have learnt various negotiation skills or techniques theoretically. However, individuals may not have much experience applying these skills in a real-life context. Other than practical role-playing, the concept of empathy is critical in card pieces. It is especially useful for individuals who have focused too much on their own goals but neglect the real needs of the clients.

Training Tool Summary

Card Pieces

Learning Objectives

  • Sharpen negotiation skills
  • Understand empathy and the importance of understanding others in negotiation and persuasion


  • A deck of playing cards
  • Cut each card diagonally twice to get 4 triangular pieces
  • Prepare one envelope for each group
  • Mix and divide the card pieces into equal piles
  • The card pieces should be ready in the envelopes before the start of the activity

Time Required

  • 38 minutes

Group Size

  • at least 6 people
  • about 3 to 6 people per group



Step 1

Divide participants into groups of 3 to 6 people. Distribute the envelopes. Explain the goal clearly to the participants. Encourage them to utilize the negotiation skills they learnt.


Step 2

Let the teams discuss their strategies and sort their card pieces for 3 minutes before the start of the bartering


Step 3

After that, count down for 15 minutes and allow teams to negotiate and barter freely. Teams can work individually or form alliances. As different teams and participants may have different styles, you should observe the teams for more coherent debriefing.


Step 4

After 15 minutes, count the number of completed cards of each team. Announce the winner. Referring to the suggested debriefing question, discuss their performance and most importantly, room for improvements.