Words I remember as a youngster to designate a small and large marble respectively.
A quick opinion poll over a number of recent training sessions has indicated a multitude of regional variations in the names, but a universal agreement on the fact that no way were they worth the same. When seeking a swap it was generally thought that was it usually three small to one big. However throw in the possibility of a ‘steely’, a ‘milky’, an ‘oily’ or a particularly ‘successful’ candidate (or favoured colour) and the shape of the negotiations changed….
But that is exactly what they were – negotiations. Albeit in quite a simplistic form, the playground is mirroring business, in that discussions are held leading eventually to an agreement acceptable to all parties. Usually this outcome was achieved without too much fuss and for a variety of commodities (thinks picture cards, sweets, game time on favourite toys etc).
We can learn much from this childhood approach in that:
- an outcome was genuinely being sought
- an element of preparation (ie thought) was put into the swap
- a ritual of offer and counter offer was usually undertaken
- slicker players were adept at employing various tactics and gambits to achieve their ends
Interestingly this was a reasonably natural practice but one that many of us seem to abandon when trying to make a deal in the commercial world. Perhaps we could deal better with the pressures, the intensity, and cut through the general ‘noise’ by adopting a more childlike (not childish!) approach.
Training can help in this and many areas of business by reviewing the processes and models that are known to work. Sometimes a concept may be brand new; sometimes it may be as simple as revisiting a technique already known and bringing it back to the consciousness.
At brindis we are continually looking at ways to improve individual, team and organisational performance, and if it works we don’t mind where the idea comes from. We would love to be able to assist you, so contact us if you would like to explore ways of getting better and let us know what you used to call different sorts of marbles….