Five Conflict Solutions

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We (supported by literature) assume, that there exist only five ways for solving conflicts. These are shown and discussed here and the participants can reflect on their own pattern when it comes to conflict solutions. So far in many trainings noone came up with another option than the five presented. If you find one, please let us know, we gladly add it below. This method relates to the theory article: Behavior in conflict situations.

Time 45-60 min

Group Size 10-25 people

Keywords group, discussion, conflicts, reflection





Participants widen their view on proper solutions for conflicts. On real examples they deepen this knowledge.


Systematical overview over the patterns. More background: Behavior in conflict situations

Paint or write on cards the following five ways of conflict resolutions:

  • Consensus (if all needs of the conflicting parties are met)
  • Compromise (if the needs of the conflicting parties are partly met)
  • Fight (leads to extinction or submission of the defeated party) (if the parties fight over the outcome)
  • Delegation (if the parties submit themselves under the decision of a third party, e.g. a referee in football)
  • Escape (if one or more parties leave the arena of the conflict)

Place the cards in the room and give an example of an rather light conflict, which might be know by most of your participants (e.g. one person in a couple wants to travel to the mountains and the other person wants to travel to the seaside). Ask them to position themselves in the room next to the card with the solution they would choose. After positioning collect concrete ideas for solving the conflict.

Ask the participants to use this forum to have a look on their conflicts and encourage them to mentione conflicts. A participants tells her or his story and again you ask the participants to position themselves to these conflict solutions and you discuss concrete ideas. Repeat this as long as it is useful for your participants.


It makes sense, that the participants use their Personal Conflict History and compare the solutions they had in their conflicts so far with those discussed in this method.