Conflict management activities to use with your team

Working under the same roof and sharing ideas for a common objective, goal, and allocation of resources also raise differences of opinion, among individuals which are termed conflict.

It arises a situation of inconvenience in interpersonal affairs. Conflicts are inevitable in business or organizational workplaces. The important thing is that being a leader how you deal with such incompatibilities that arise as a result of divergent perspectives.

The practice of being able to sense, observe, identify and deal with conflict sensibly, fairly, and efficiently is known as conflict management. Conflict must be resolved in the workplace by sound management to ensure team productivity, cooperative behavior between co-workers, and maintaining smooth working relations.

This blog gives you the best conflict management activities to use with your team and be a CEO of human psychology and enjoy a healthy working environment.

also read, How to deal with a team older than you? Golden tips

Conflict management activities

You can practice the following activities to inculcate problem-solving skills in your team members.

Activity#1 Rotation of debates

In this activity, take two employees or two teams, and give them a topic that could be anything for example climate change or causes of global warming. Ask them to have an open discussion and share their views on the respective topic.

Allow both sides to argue over their view for 2-3 minutes. And after this switch their sides. Now ask them to argue over their counterparts. In the third phase of discussion, merge both parties and make them argue collaboratively.

This discussion of multiple scenarios stimulates critical thinking and allows team members to examine the situation from a variety of angles.  Switching both teams and forcing them to look at an issue from both sides make them able to see valid arguments on either side.

Activity# 2 Said, Heard, Meant

One of the causes of conflict is misperception so this is a communication exercise. One team member starts the activity by making a statement. The other member respond to the statement and give their interpretation in the “you said, I heard” format.

Let’s consider the following example

You said, “When will you have completed the X task?”’

The other member perceives this statement as:

I heard, “you are too slow at your job.”

The first member then disproves the statement of the second member in the “you heard, I meant” format.

You heard that you are too slow at your job but I meant that I need to know the timeline so I can assign the further task to you and plan for the rest of the day.”

Through this activity, the team member can know what one member has said to them and how perceived them and assume their underlying meaning by themselves. This activity aims to promote clear, straightforward communication to avoid conflict based on misconceptions and misinterpretations.

Activity # 3 Make-Belief Mediations

This is a funny and easygoing activity to teach the team how to resolve the conflict. Since real-life conflict examples can be tough therefor in this activity, mediation of fictional conflicts is used to build team skills in a low setting.

To start this activity, show your team a movie clip, read an intense scene from a novel or take some famous feud.  Give the team members the role of mediator and ask them to solve the controversy.

For example, let your team be HR for the Avengers and they are working to settle the dispute between Captain America and Iron Man from the Civil War film.

Activity# 4 storytelling

This conflict management activity is about the candid discussion over the conflicts that happened in the past. To start the activity call all the team together, and ask each member to tell the actual real conflict that they have been engaged in the past.

The team member who is sharing the story must touch on the following aspect:

  • What is the root cause of the conflict?
  • What were the factors that escalated the situation?
  • How was the matter resolved?
  • What did I do in this situation?
  • What I have learned from the situation?

At the end of each story, the other group member comment, constructive criticism or praise the person for what he or she have done in a time of crisis. They might suggest alternative options to deal with that particular issue.

The main purpose of this exercise is to show that everyone has bad times in life and the way he handles them is important. This activity also promotes honest self-reflection and better communication between team members.

Closing thoughts

Conflicts are the natural phenomenon in a tea working for collective gains. Conflict management is not always the responsibility of the mediator. Being a manager you must train your team through various activities to resolve the disagreements through peaceful negotiation, active listening, and compassionate behavior.

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