Personal Conflict History

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The method addresses the personal history of a person focussing of conflicts, which shaped them somehow. It supports the reflection process on ones own conflict style

Time 45 min

Group Size 2-100

Keywords conflicts, reflection, discussion, empathy, transfer





The aim of this method is to raise awareness for the conflicts one had so far and to look for patterns. The awareness about these factors allows a proper approach to future conflicts

Conflict timeline.png


Each participants draws on his/her own paper a timeline of his/her life. It can be really basic, just the years (e.g. from 1980 to now) or the lifespan (from 0 to now). The task is, to fill in different conflicts, that I have in mind now. The map can be used for follow up methods to check, how one acts in various conflicts (e.g. with the method Reflecting Behaviour in Conflict Situations ).

In our experience it makes sense, if firstly you draw it for yourself but as trainer you tell already before the participants start with the work on their map of their personal history of conflicts, that they will discuss it in pairs after drawing. And that it is up to them what they want to share with their peer and that it is also up to them what they will share in the plenary. The exchange in peers allows them to reflect together on their issues, to ask deeper questions and to discuss what needs a discussion. The peer shall be chosen by the participants themselves, best according to the simple criteria whom they want to work with regarding the issue of personal conflicts.


  • Ask each participant how do they feel after the process.
  • Find together the root of identified problems
  • What do they think which cases/events have connections and linkages together?
  • What can the actors do to prevent next time any case you have on the line?
  • Do the actors have an interest in peace? What kind of peace do they want? What kind of steps did they do for it?


Normally 15 minutes for drawing is enough, another 15 minutes for the first round of peer reflection is also a proper timeframe. The debriefing in the plenary takes also time, which is depending on the size of the group.


  • Working with Conflict: Skills and Strategies for Action by Simon Fisher (Author), Dekha Ibrahim Abdi (Author), Jawed Ludin (Author), Richard Smith (Author), Sue Williams (Author), Steven Williams (Author), Zed books, London, 2000