Emotional Intelligence and the board game Black hole adventure

The board game Black hole adventure is apparently a very simple game, but its beauty lies in the open-endedness of the negotiation process.

The negotiation is not limited to elements of the game and is not limited to the present time. This means that aspects of real life can be negotiated and past and future events can be taken into account.

First we’ll summarise some of the main attributes of emotional intelligence. Then we’ll go on to  look at some examples in the game and how they relate to different aspects of emotional intelligence.

The four main attributes of emotional intelligence

  • Self-awareness – You recognize your own emotions and how they affect your thoughts and behavior, know your strengths and weaknesses, and have self-confidence.
  • Self-management – You’re able to control impulsive feelings and behaviors, manage your emotions in healthy ways, take initiative, follow through on commitments, and adapt to changing circumstances.
  • Social awareness – You can understand the emotions, needs, and concerns of other people, pick up on emotional cues, feel comfortable socially, and recognize the power dynamics in a group or organization.
  • Relationship management – You know how to develop and maintain good relationships, communicate clearly, inspire and influence others, work well in a team, and manage conflict.

Examples of negotiation in Black hole adventure and how they relate to emotional intelligence.

The negotiation at its simplest level is looking out for your own economic interests. For example:

  • I’ll save you if you pay me X money (where X is always more than the money you have, i.e. more than the money you have to pay into the hole.

But this type of negotiation, with time, would turn into a relationship of exploitation, with feelings of resentment and desire for revenge:

  • When I was in the hole, you made me pay X money; now that you are in the hole, you can’t expect me to treat you any better!

So the intelligent thing to do is to take into account the feelings, emotions, needs and desires of the person you are negotiating with. For example:

  • You know I could ask you for a lot of money, but I’m going to be generous to you because you were generous to me when I was in the hole…
  • I know you need a house to win the game, but I also know you hate doing the washing up. How about if I wash up that big pile of dishes in the kitchen and you give me the next house that you buy in exchange for saving you?
  • I know it’s a delicate moment for you in the game and you don’t want to lose your house or your transport, so I tell you what… I’ll rescue you for nothing this time, so long as you promise to do the same for me when I’m in the hole.
  • As you can see, I’ve got all the money I need, I’ve got my house and I’ve got my transport, so all I’m going to ask you for, in exchange for getting you out of the hole, is… to join me for a drink after the game.

As you can see the possibilities are endless, and the more you take into account the experiences of the other players, their feelings, their attitudes, their character, as well as their strategic position in the game, the better you will do in the negotiations.

Good luck to you, and never stop learning about yourself and those that surround you!

Rikki Jaffar Prince, 6 January 2015

~ by rjprince on January 6, 2015.

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