donderdag, februari 2, 2017

Every month the International Student Chaplaincy Delft with chaplain Waltraut Stroh organizes an event called Global Meeting Point. The January one was organized together with Initiatives of Change (IofC) and shaped as a game. IofC trainer Christiaan Groen took the participants through a negotiation game. Salma Berrada, student of architecture at the TU in Delft, experienced it as ‘an incredible emotional journey within an evening time’. She wrote the personal report below.

In the beginning of January I receive an e-mail about the upcoming events of this New Year organized by the International Student Chaplaincy in Delft. One of those events strikes my attention: a ‘Negotiation Game’ in collaboration with Initiatives of Change. Intrigued, I decide to sign up for it. On Thursday the 12th I head to the center of Delft to experience what I am about to call henceforth one of the most refreshing and surprising workshops I’ve ever been to. 

I enter the building where I learn that monthly ‘Global meetings’ are held and get introduced to the other participants that were evenly intrigued by the content of this game we’ve been invited to. 16 people, (about) 9 nationalities from 3 continents. The start of the evening is already a delight and the melting pot of the participants from different backgrounds (students, Phds, Job seakers) is welcomed by Waltraut Stroh , the chaplain, and Christiaan Groen, the trainer who is about to take us through an intense emotional journey.

The evening starts with a world map. Every participant stands in a part of the room that geographically matches their country. The special setting warms up the atmosphere and the 3 continents (Africa, Europe and Asia) are formed in genuine laughter. The excitement gets more and more obvious, the curiousness reaches its peak and everyone wonders what is about to happen.

Christiaan Groen then announces the beginning of the game! But first, a warning! A warning of the several emotions that we are about to experience. A warning that this is about to get serious and a request for a promise that we will leave this event with the same joyful and friendly spirit the night started with. 

The tension seizes the room.  In order for the challenge to be real, we put a little contribution at stake and now we feel personally involved and motivated to win this game.  The instructions of the game are given, and it all begins! We do not know each other, but we know there is something at stake, and we need to win. How? Strategy, Communication, and the toughest part, Negotiation; skills that we might not have had in the beginning of the play but that we sought to develop at each round to do better and reach our goal.

How to convince and persuade the other teams? How to reach your objectives ? How to define your concessions? How to deliver your ideas? How to make them heard and shared and mostly, how to react when things do not go as you planned. Honesty, Trust, Individuality, Collectiveness, Carefuless , Carefreeness, Risk taking, Communication, Ethics and Morality …all of these notions are tackled during this workshop.

The game finishes and we all stare at each other, we were not ready to feel all what we have felt and learn all we have learned. Relieved that this was a game, we go over the adventure we have been in together and realize all the meaningful aspects that this game reflects from real life. A word we all agree on comes to mind: Insightful!

To know more about this one of a kind experiment, I recommend you join this challenging event and discover the rollercoaster of mind states you can go through within a couple of hours. It is a must! I cannot share the details of the game in order not to spoil your personal perception of it but what I will do is tell you that it is a more patient, perspicuous and insightful audience that left the room!  Within a couple of hours, Christiaan Groen had made us go across an amount of knowledge and emotions that is just incredible.

A great initiative, that brought people together from all around the world to learn some valuable lessons in a way that we surely cannot and will not forget.

Salma Berrada