50 Activities for Conflict Resolution
Prepare four sheets of flipchart paper in advance, listing one of the following
descriptors on each sheet, with simple examples:
• ACTION STYLE (sets objectives, makes quick decisions, likes working on
own projects, responds to feedback)
• PEOPLE -SENSITIVE STYLE (values teamwork, believes in collective
agreement, may lose sight of entire task, seeks boss’s approval)
• PROCESS DEVELOPMENT STYLE (thoughtful, resists pressure, pays
attention to details such as objectives, facts, strategies, and tactics)
• IDEA-SENSITIVE STYLE (enjoys relating to interesting colleagues, little
interest in ordinary boring activities, bold but sometimes unrecognized)
I Lose—You Lose
To help participants understand the possible consequences of inflexibility in
attempting to resolve conflicts.
MATERIALS: Instruction Slips “A,” “B,” “C,” and “D”
1. Introduce the activity by telling the participants that through role-play, they
are going to observe different ways people approach conflict resolution. They
will also learn the importance of flexibility.
2. Ask for two volunteers who would be willing to act out a role play in a given
3. Give one volunteer instruction slip “A” and the other instruction slip “B”
(see Trainer’s Notes). Ask them to silently read their respective Instruction
Slips and then position themselves at the front of the room.
4. Instruct the rest of the participants to observe the role play.
5. Initiate the first role play (instruction slips “A” and “B”). Call a halt when it
becomes obvious what is going on.
6. Ask the rest of the participants to give feedback on what they observed:
• What actually happened?
• What verbal and nonverbal signals did you observe from either person?
(i.e., tone changes, pitch changes, crossing arms, etc.)
• What did you learn?
7. Thank the volunteers. Ask for two new volunteers to conduct the second role
play (instruction slips “C” and “D”) and follow the earlier procedure. Again,
call a halt when it becomes obvious what is going on.
8. First, ask what was different about the second role play. Then raise the same
questions as under Paragraph 6, bringing in the topic of “flexibility.”
9. Reconvene the group and lead a general discussion on both role plays:
• Were the instructions difficult to follow? If so, why?
• Did anyone try to negotiate with the other party, or modify or change his
or her position?
• What were the outcomes?
• Were there any surprises?
• How do we become more flexible?