About Conflict
1. To share approaches to dealing with conflict in a team setting.
2. To learn alternative approaches to dealing with conflict.
Four to 12 people is preferred. This exercise is most appropriate for
team building, but it may be adapted for use in team training
workshops. In a workshop, a larger group may be divided into several
small teams for the purpose of this activity.
1 to 2 hours
For team building, arrange chairs in a circle; for training, arrange
several groups of chairs in a circle or use round tables and chairs.
Copies of Communicating About Conflict.
1. Explain the purpose of the exercise. Distribute the handout,
Communicating About Conflict.
2. Ask for a volunteer to begin with the first question. Follow the
directions on the handout.
3. The facilitator should probe for clarification, elaboration, and for
appropriate interventions.
4. Summarize key learning about conflict and what changes in the
team are necessary in order to facilitate effective conflict
5. Conclude the session with a lecturette on conflict styles and their
advantages and disadvantages.
1. Change the questions and statements to more closely fit the
issues on your team.
2. The facilitator and/or team members can demonstrate how
different conflict styles would react to the various questions and
50 Activities for Team Building
Communicating About Conflict
3. The session can conclude with each person discussing how they
plan to handle conflict differently in the future.
4. For an exercise focusing on how a team deals with conflict, see
Activity 43, Team Conflict Mode.
50 Activities for Team Building
Communicating About Conflict
The list of open-ended statements below are designed to stimulate group discussion.
You are not limited to the ones on this list. The following ground rules apply:
Take turns initiating the discussion by completing a statement or asking
someone else on the team to complete a statement.
You must be willing to complete any statement that you ask someone else to
Any member may decline to complete any statement that someone else
All discussion remains confidential.
Statements may be taken in any order:
1. Conflict is…
2. The time I felt best about dealing with conflict was…
3. When things are not going well, I tend to…
4. I sometimes avoid unpleasant situations by…
5. When someone disagrees with me about something important, I usually…
6. When someone challenges me in front of others, I usually…
7. I feel most vulnerable during a conflict when…
8. On this team we usually handle conflict by…
9. I usually hide or camouflage my feelings when…
10. When I get angry I…
11. When someone avoids conflict with me I…
12. I am most likely to assert myself in situations that…
13. My greatest strength in handling conflict is…
14. In this team I would have the most difficulty with…
15. The most important outcome of conflict is…

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