What is a Conflict...

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This method helps to raise awareness for conflicts. It is suitable as introduction to the topic of conflict management.

Time 30 minutes

Material duct tape

Group Size 20 people

Keywords conflict management, awareness raising, reflection, sociometric method.





The participants are aware of their approaches to conflicts and what they consider as conflicts and what is no conflict in their opinion.


The facilitator/ trainer/ teacher uses the duct tape to draw a line from one side of the room to the other. One end is complete agreement and the other one means complete disagreement. In between every position is possible, so it is not a black/white answer but many options are possible in between these poles. The trainer explains some short descriptions of possible conflicts (see below). The participants choose their position and the trainer asks some of them for their reasons for choosing this particular position in the room.

The guiding question is always: Is it a conflict in your opinion? Why (not)?

  • You are looking forward to a common evening with your partner. At home you find the following note: “I went to the cinema with a friend…”
  • At lunch time in the cafeteria you see a colleague from a different department. Since a while already you want to discuss something with her/him. You put your papers on the seat next to her/him and go to grab some food. When you come back the chair is taken.
  • You ask a colleague for advice. She/he does not answer immediately but wants to visit you later that day. It is already short before leaving work to go home and your colleague still was not there to talk with you.
  • Nicos father loves classical music and he really does not like Rockmusic, what is Nicos passion. But they have only one music player.
  • At a sports meeting Jana, Olga and Francesca run the sprint on 100m. Jana really wants to win.
  • Michael throws an empty can of a softdrink on the street. An older lady asks him to pick it up and throw it in a trash bin.
  • A cyclist rides her bike slowly in a pedestrian zone. A man asks him to get off the bike.
  • A pregnant woman goes to a party. She feels bad and wants to leave, because many of the guests smoke.


  • How easy was it to take a position on the comments?
  • Which question was especially difficult?
  • What did we learn about conflicts and our spontaneous approaches regarding conflicts