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What are the Different Types of Conflict Resolution Exercises?

By Bethany Keene
Updated May 17, 2024
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Conflict resolution exercises are important for repairing any conflicts in the workplace and to prevent or resolve a hostile working environment. Typically, the best conflict resolution exercises are those that bring the people in the conflict together in a neutral area, and have them discuss and confront the problem head on, while trying to reach a compromise. There is no need to make it more complicated than that or involve anyone other than the necessary people.

Some people find that conflict resolution exercises work best when a third party gets involved to act as a mediator. The people within the conflict may meet in "neutral territory," such as someone else's office, in order to discuss the problem. They can then sit down and civilly discuss the matter, without rudeness or name-calling. The mediator may be able to help guide the discussion or prevent it from escalating into an angry confrontation. There are some specific strategies that may be helpful for conflict resolution exercises.

Each person in the conflict should clearly state their point of view and what they see the problem to be. This way, no one needs to make any assumptions, and the actual problem can be discussed. It is important to be as specific as possible when trying to resolve a conflict, and not to bring up previous grievances or conflicts. It is also important to listen carefully to what the other person is saying, and to really try to understand his or her point of view. Making a concrete plan for the future, noting where specific changes will be made, and setting a date to come back together and discuss the issue again can also work well in different conflict resolution exercises.

If the discussion is not going well, it may be best to postpone it until a later date, or to bring it to the attention of a human resources department or a manager. The human resources department will likely be most helpful in suggesting other conflict resolution exercises or in mediating any disagreements on an official level. In some instances, conflict resolution may simply involve ignoring the other person as much as possible, unless they begin to directly impact one's work, or if one feels threatened at work. In nearly all cases of conflict, it is best so simply communicate clearly and openly, and to avoid discussing the problem with others or gossiping, which can just exacerbate the problem.

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