The Negotiation Challenge (TNC) 2016 – an event comprising 16 participating teams from 13 different nations from 3 continents! An exhilarating experience full of intense negotiation rounds, making friends who share the same passion as you do and guided city tours with delightful intermediary meals inside the most traditional of inns and taverns in the heart of the city of music and dreams-Vienna!
The first round of the competition held on the 18th of March, started even before the teams had actually met each other over a ‘text-only’ Skype round. On March 31st, the event called ‘Building Bridges’ took place, where we got the opportunity to touch base with all the other participants over a few rounds of drinks. It was here where we felt that the negotiations had officially started.
The following day initiated the official face-to-face negotiation rounds. Three rounds were scheduled for the next two days and based on these results the 2 finalists were to be chosen for the Grand Finale.
The first of these rounds were conducted by separating each of the 3 constituent team members and putting them face-to-face with 2 other members from different teams. The second, and perhaps the most interesting round, was held on trams. Yes, actual trams moving through the city (although we as participants hardly noticed that the tram circumscribed the city four times by the time we had concluded negotiations in that round)! In between these rounds, we had lunch at a conventional Austrian Inn and then we were shown around the city by wonderful guides. At the end of the day, a wonderful treat awaited us in a traditional Austrian tavern.
On the last day, we had the final round of negotiations where thankfully we finally had the combination of a table in front of us along with all team members! In the final case was ‘The Battle of Nations’, we played the role Emperor Napoleon and our goal was to persuade Prince Poniatowski to form an alliance strong enough to defeat the Russian coalition. Roughly, a couple of hours later we finished the final general round and went out for one final tour before the finalists would be announced.
Yes, we thought we had done well, just like everyone else and it was heart-breaking to find out that we missed out being the finalists just by one point! Nonetheless, we were all witness to the amazing ‘Finale’ negotiation held in front everyone. Following the final and a few ending notes, we made our way to the last venue for dinner. A sumptuous buffet later, the deserved winners were announced and to put the icing on the cake, we all ended the day by visiting one of the most happening clubs in Vienna!
Opportunities like this are rare and scanty and we were privileged to be part of such a wonderful community of passionate negotiators from such vast culturally and scholastically diverse backgrounds. This is one of those few things in life that we shall remember and cherish for the rest of our lives.
Hendrik Büttner, Sunando Maitra and Mauricio Rodriguez Morice
The Negotiation Challenge (TNC) 2017: April 21 and 22, 2017 in Bogota
» see the TNC video here