Negotiation & Empathy

Welcome to the 5th principle of the PARTNERS principles: NEGOTIATION.

Please read the chapters on “NEGOTIATION” and “EMPATHY” in the book “The PARTNERS Principles for Community-Based Conservation.” They introduce the key themes we discuss throughout the videos and examples.

Watch this video to get started!

A short story from Tost, Mongolia.
Nadia from the Snow Leopard Foundation Mongolia shares a story of negotiating during a sensitive time in the South Gobi.

Let’s discuss the example.

Now we explore the principle of NEGOTIATION. This video summarizes a few key points about the principle.

Welcome to the 6th principle of the PARTNERS principles: EMPATHY.

A short story from Kyrgyzstan.
Benazir from the Snow Leopard Trust shares a story about starting a conservation program in the TianShan. Watch this video to learn more.

Let’s bring it all together and discuss the example.

What else is important to consider about the principle of EMPATHY?

Join the discussion.
The PARTNERS Principles Network discuss the principles of NEGOTIATION & EMPATHY.

Recap of the principles: NEGOTIATION & EMPATHY.


Time for an activity. You can do this activity either as a group or as an individual.

Activity 4: The 4-word build game

Choose a word, idea or concept that you want the participants to explore as a group. Anything relevant you can think of. E.g. ‘Wildlife’, ‘Conflict’, ‘Snow Leopard’, etc…

The exercise:

  • Write down four different words that come to mind when you think of the issue or concept being explored. If they seem hesitant, point out that there are no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ words, just their own ideas.
  • Next, ask the participants to form pairs, with people they have not worked with before.
  • In the pairs, there will now be two people with eight words between them which represent, for them, the word being explored. Ask them to agree on four words to retain from their eight original words, and eliminate four words.
  • This can lead to a lot of discussion about the words and the reasons why they chose them. Through doing so they will come to understand each other’s reasons for the words they chose and how each one understood the original word or concept. Their decision to keep or eliminate a word will need some form of decision making and the means by which this happens can, in itself, be of interest later in the exercise.
  • Each pair will now have ‘their’ four words for the word or concept being explored.
  • Next ask each pair to join with another pair and do exactly the same thing.
  • That is, there will be groups of 4 people discussing 8 words and they will need to reduce the 8 words down to 4.
  • Once this has been completed, review the entire activity.

Dive into the next Principles: RESPONSIVENESS & STRATEGIC SUPPORT