Conflict isn't necessarily negative, but most of us tend to focus on the discomfort of conflict situations, missing out on what can be gained. This exercise is designed to help people examine how conflict can be a POSITIVE thing.
Small group exercise
Ideal Group Size
Small group exercise, so working groups of four to seven people in each group. Can be scaled up for larger groups.
Time For Exercise
20 to 40 minutes including debrief
Detailed Instructions If Needed
Split large groups into smaller teams of four to seven (having at least three teams is desirable). Make available: Have each team send a member up to collect their supplies:
- sheet of flip-chart paper
- some assorted markers, pens
- list of discussion questions to be answered
Have each team that write their definition of conflict.
Their challenge is to define conflict without using negative terms. Once team members agree on a definition, have them write it on their flip-chart paper along with an illustration. Before the group presentations and discussion, have each team answer the debriefing questions on the handout. After all teams are finished, have the teams present their ideas to the group. Hang up the flip-chart pages on the wall of the room for the duration of the training day.
Discussion Questions For Positive Conflict Activity:
- How does the definition of conflict affect the way we think about conflict?
- What are some negative consequences of conflict?
- What are some positive outcomes of conflict?
- List four potential positive outcomes of conflict in an organization