You as a citizen

Become a Skilled Negotiator

Effective citizenship requires working with other citizens, political candidates, public officials and political movements. Polarization in government makes clear how important and lacking this skill is. But it can be learned.

A democracy requires decision-making by its citizens. Reaching decisions ideally involves deliberation involving citizens and elected officials. Negotiation skills are highly relevant. See if you can sharpen yours.

Deliberative decision-making derives from deliberative democracy – a form of democracy in which deliberation is central to decision-making. It adopts elements of both consensus decision-making and majority rule.

The central concepts of deliberative democracy can be used in negotiations of many kinds. It assumes decision-making involves others and success requires the presence of basic characteristics.

James Fishkin, a leading deliberative democracy thinker who has designed practical implementations of deliberative democracy for over 15 years in various countries, described five characteristics essential for successful deliberation:

  • Information: Accurate and relevant data is made available to all participants.
  • Substantive balance: Different positions are compared based on their supporting evidence.
  • Diversity: All major positions relevant to the matter at hand and held by the public are considered.
  • Conscientiousness: Participants sincerely weigh all arguments.
  • Equal consideration: Views are weighed based on evidence, not on who is advocating a particular view.” (Wikipedia)


  1. “The Ecology of Democracy”, David Matthews, 2014. See pages 105-108
  2. What is Negotiation? – Skills You Need
  3. Mindtools: “Improve your negotiation skills.”
  4. “Top Ten Effective Negotiation Skills.”

Negotiation Skills Self-Assessment

This test will assess your ability to determine the most effective way to deal with a particular situation. Check all the answers that apply for each question. After you submit your answers, we will score your test, provide you with the answers and provide a brief assessment of ways in which you can improve your negotiation skill.

How to Use this Site

This site can empower your citizenship.

  1. Explore, LEARN AND DISCUSS issues important to citizens.
  2. Test yourself with QUIZZES that are designed to educate and guide you through the site.
  3. PRINT OUT the “Tracking Your Progress Sheet”.
  4. VOLUNTEER to improve and expand this site.

This site is a project of the Foundation for Educating Citizens for American Democracy About | Contribute | Volunteer | Contact