1. Welcome the participants and ask them to sit in a circle. Explain that today you will talk about conflict management.
2. Start the activity asking the participants what conflict is.
3. Summarise their input with the following explanation:
“Conflict can be defined as a struggle or contest between people with opposing needs, ideas, beliefs, values, or goals.
Conflict between teams or groups of people is inevitable. However, the results of conflict are not always the same. Conflicts can have good or bad results. Through disagreement and discussion, people can come to better understand each other and make positive changes. However, conflict can have bad results if it leads to harmful behaviour such as fighting and negativity. This happens if people do not handle conflict well or ignore it. Learning to manage conflict is therefore very important in high-performing teams.
Although very few people go looking for conflict, more often than not, conflict results because of miscommunication between people with regard to their needs, ideas, beliefs, goals, or values.”
4. Continue by explaining:
“Conflict management involves learning:
• about different types of conflict
• how to communicate in conflict situations
• how to resolve conflicts
• how to establish a structure for managing conflict in your environment.”
5. Read the scenario below to the participants.
“Arnaud is 16 and in grade 10. His father has discovered that he has not been attending school, but has been hanging around with a group of peers by the cinema, smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol. He has told Arnaud to stop seeing these friends and to concentrate on going to school, but Arnaud refuses, and says he does not see the point in going to school.”
6. Ask for two volunteers to show in a role-play how they would resolve the conflict between Arnaud and his father.
7. When they have finished the role-play, ask the group for other ideas on how the situation could be solved.
8. Summarise the inputs by going through the conflict management steps listed below:
1. In some conflicts, it is helpful to talk to each person alone first to get their opinion on the situation.
2. Set some rules: e.g. people may speak one at a time, listen to each other, and not talk while the other is talking, or call each other names.
3. Identify the problem clearly, based on how all the people in the conflict see it. Make sure that everyone listens to each other and understands their opinions. Summarise the problem clearly and get everyone’s agreement on it.
4. Agree on aims and what each person hopes to achieve. Give everyone a chance to speak and try to bring out common aims. Summarise the agreed aims.
5. Look for solutions to the problem. Think of as many solutions as possible and accept all at first. Praise people for their progress.
6. Select solutions that will achieve the aims and which everyone accepts.
7. Gain agreement on the solutions.
8. Make an action plan that achieves the solutions.
9. End the activity by thanking the participants for their contributions and saying:
“Peer supporters can help people use conflict in a good way to bring about positive change. Poor communication (not being able to talk to each other), disagreeing on important issues, and inequalities between people are major causes of conflict. Being aware of where the conflict stems from is often a good place to start in conflict management, and then working with all the people involved to find good solutions.”