About this document


At key moments in the Bodyswaps experience, useful notes are added to the learner’s virtual journal as a memory prompt that they can refer back to, as and when required.

In VR, learners access their journal by looking at their avatar’s left hand. On other devices, it can be accessed via a ‘burger menu’ in the top left corner of the screen.

This document collates the journal entries in relation to the individual activities for this course.


Approach and mindset


Discover how managing emotions and taking an approach that seeks to understand the other party’s interests (rather than trying to convince them of your argument) can reveal hidden value that benefits everyone.


  • Recognize the link between emotions and approaches to negotiating
  • Identify behaviors that indicate a ‘convincing’ approach 
  • Investigate interests for a better outcome 
  • Successfully negotiate a positive outcome by adopting an ‘understanding’ approach

Your natural response

Your natural response

  • Anxiety is most likely before negotiations begin or during its early stages
  • Anger or excitement is more likely in the heat of the discussions 
  • Disappointment, sadness, or regret is often experienced following the negotiation

Source: Understanding the role of emotions by Alison Wood Brooks, published in Harvard Business Review.

“Win-lose” - Convincing

Useful information about Cyd and Shui

  • Cyd mentored Shui early in her career
  • She was head of the department before Shui
  • She feels betrayed by Shui
  • She is due to retire in a couple of years
  • Shui needs Cyd’s cooperation to get sales figures up
  • By focusing on your own needs, you are not opening up the field to all possibilities. There may be value you could offer the other side that costs you nothing.
  • What goes around comes around – if you resort to making threats, the law of reciprocity says the other side will just hit you back with the same. Don’t be surprised if the negotiations spiral downhill from here.
  • Seeking to undermine the opposition is a one-way street to mistrust and the relationship is likely to turn sour. No points for guessing how this will go…
  • Think of this as an investigation. Listen carefully to see if you can find out what matters to the other party and don’t miss clues about what the other side values. 
  • Attempts at manipulating the other side won’t get you far. It will just sour the relationship.
  • Mind you don’t inadvertently insult the other side. 
  • Likewise, don’t make inappropriate offers - like the ones you can’t fulfill, or what could be taken by the other side as condescending.
  • Making appeals to the other party to be ‘reasonable’ is at best irksome, at worst can lead quickly to retrenched positions. 

“Win-win” - the art of understanding

Strategies for difficult conversations

If you find yourself in a situation with a difficult co-worker, consider using this approach:

  • Suggest options and ask her to suggest options
  • Validate feelings
  • Give value 
  • First, investigate interests (the why), then positions (the what)
  • Intangible value, like respect or making someone feel heard, costs you very little

Demonstrate your understanding skills

An ‘understanding’ approach to negotiating

  • Manage emotions – yours and the other party’s. Take a neutral stance, but acknowledge emotions if they come up.
  • Seek to understand – get to the heart of the issue. What does each party want, and why?
  • Give value – keep an open mind. The more opportunities to give the other side something that’s of value to them will make them more likely to give value to you. 
  • Profile: Buyer for pharmaceutical company
  • Goal: Produce a chemical from the rind of the fruit that can be used to combat enemy use of biological warfare. 
  • Status: URGENT. 
  • Requirement: Rind of 3000 rare breadfruit
  • Budget: $250,000