4 Unique Workplace Conflict Resolution Activities

Conflict in the workplace is never something to ignore, since doing so does not make the issue go away and will cause further discord and strife. Workplace conflict resolution activities help relieve tension, while also allowing employees to learn more about each other and gain empathy for one another. If you want to implement such activities but do not know where to start, review the following ideas for inspiration.

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Dizzy Debates

Dizzy debates require two employees to discuss an issue, such as national and global issues like student loan debt, the war in Ukraine, and climate change. Set a timer for two to three minutes, then allow one employee to “prove their point.” Do the same with the other employee, who must take the opposing side. Repeat as needed until everyone who wants to participate does.

The idea behind dizzy debates is to encourage team members to think critically about issues from different sides. This helps them view problems within the workplace more broadly, rather than casting judgment or taking sides.

Conflict Confessions

For this exercise, have participants sit in a circle. Each participant must recount a past workplace conflict and discuss 1) what caused the issue, 2) why the situation got worse, 3) how the participant resolved the problem, 4) what the participant did correctly in the situation, and 5) what they learned from the incident. They can also talk about what they could have done better to resolve the situation more efficiently.

Conflict confessions help participants take time to self-reflect, and consider any current conflicts they are involved in and how to resolve them. This exercise also opens communication lines, which can help team members express themselves with more detail and sidestep miscommunication issues.

What Would You Do?

This workplace conflict resolution activity asks participants to think of what they would do in various challenging situations. Simply read a situation to the players, then invite them to respond. You can call on participants one at a time, or use poll or multiple-choice answers. Do whatever you think will benefit the employees the most. Example prompts can include “How would you respond if a manager took credit for your work?,” “What would you do if two employees are not speaking and using you as the ‘messenger’?” “How would you react if you discovered a team member was stealing large amounts of office supplies or snacks from the breakroom,” and “What would you do about a team member who never responds to your emails in a timely manner?”

To keep the activity lively, consider mixing funny questions with serious queries. It is meant to help team members prepare for assorted situations they might find challenging. They will also gain a good idea of how their fellow employees respond to difficult situations.

Positive Definitions Game

For this game, separate employees into groups of four or five. Provide each group with a sheet of paper and a large marker, and ask them to answer several questions: “What is your definition of conflict resolution?” “What negative issues can result from workplace tension and conflict?” and “Are there ever positive results from work environment conflicts?”

Have the team members write “Definition,” “Negatives,” and “Positives” on their papers, then write their answers. The game not only allows team members to learn more about one another, it also provides opportunities to see the positives in conflict management, such as better communication, more honest feedback, and a happier work environment.

These are just some workplace conflict activities to consider for your team! For more about conflict resolution in the workplace, contact Pollack Peacebuilding Systems today.


Kent McGroarty


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