I Represent Conflict Exercise

Brief Description/Purpose

Simple game that uses physical movement and spacing to examine people's FIRST reactions to conflict - to run away (avoid), or run towards (confront, or work with the person).

Type

Physical activity, discussion

Age Appropriate

Any age although a bit simple for adults and older teens

Ideal Group Size

10-50

Time For Exercise

Actual exercise is short, but debrief could run between 15-30 minutes.

Topic/Subject

Conflict, attitudes towards conflict, avoidance

Detailed Instructions If Needed

Place yourself in the middle of the room and say, "Imagine that I represent conflict. Think about how you usually react when you experience a conflict personally or witness a conflict happening nearby. Then place yourself, in relation to me, somewhere in the room in a way that indicates your first response to conflict or disagreement. Think about your body position, the direction that you're facing, and the distance from conflict."


Once students have found a position relative to you in the room, ask individuals to explain why they are standing where they are. You might also want to ask, "If this represents your first reaction, what might your second reaction be, after thinking about the conflict?"

Cautions/Hints

The real point here is to show that our initial reactions to conflict often get in the way of resolving, in a constructive way, the conflict.;