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Pirate Challenge - Tough Negotiations and Creative Thinking


This game can be played in about 60-90 minutes. In total, allowing for discussion and evaluation, we recommend allowing 105-135 minutes.

• Raise awareness of the importance of a clear strategy and a shared understanding of their team’s needs and priorities.
• Show participants the importance of working effectively together to agree on a strategy, allocate roles and trust one another to complete their allocated tasks.
• Test participants’ influence and persuasion skills and their ability to think creatively during negotiations.

Skills and Behaviours Tested:
Influence and persuasion, negotiation, conflict resolution, strategic thinking, creativity, teamwork and attention to detail.

Group Size:
You need a minimum of 8 participants for this exercise (4 teams of 2) but 16 is better (4 teams of 4) and more is better still as you can go on adding more teams or increasing the size of the teams slightly. In fact this exercise is ideal if you have a very large group – for example, 50 participants could be split into 10 teams of 5.

Useful For:
Staff at all levels.

You'll Need:
Each team will need:
• A separate area (ideally a separate room).
• A supply of card and/or newspaper.
• A small amount of modelling clay.
• A ball of string.
• Sticky tape.
• Scissors.
• A ruler.
• Toy money to the value of 270 doubloons of various denominations.
• A small roll of kitchen foil.
• A team brief and a supply of sales ledger sheets, which can be downloaded from Trainers’ Library.

You will need:
• A separate meeting area.
• A bell.
• A stopwatch or watch.
• Spare doubloons.
• A prize for the winning team.

A kit containing some of the materials needed for this exercise is available from Trainers' Market.

The exercise will typically take about 60 minutes to run but you will need to allow up to 90 minutes if none of the teams fully complete a new ship.

Pirate Challenge is a hands-on exercise that is designed to test a number of skills and behaviours including influence, persuasion and negotiation, conflict resolution, strategic thinking, teamwork and attention to detail.

For this exercise, the more teams you have, the better, as a greater number of teams increases the trading options available to each team, making this exercise ideal for events where you are working with very large groups. For example, 50 people could be split into 10 teams of 5.

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