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Practicing Problem Solving


Explain to the group that when there is a conflict, there is a problem. When trying to resolve conflicts, it helps to have a way to think about the problem and to attempt to solve it.

Write the following steps on a flip chart sheet:

  1. Define the problem.
  2. Brainstorm solutions.
  3. Choose a solution and act on it.
  4. Go over each step with the group.

Point out that before the problem solving begins, the people in the conflict have to agree to work it out. In order for problem solving to work, they have to agree to really try to work it out, and to not shout or call names. They want to DE-escalate the conflict, not escalate it.

Emphasize that in step two they want to come up with as many possible solutions as they can.
In step three they want to choose a solution(s) that is win-win.

Encourage the Pioneers to define problems in a way that does not affix blame.
After the Pioneers have been introduced to this problem solving approach to conflict resolution, give them a chance to practice the technique by acting out a conflict resolution skit.

Get two volunteers to act out the Camera Fight role play script attached.

When they have finished, take the group through the problem solving approach.

When the group has decided which solution they like best, get the players to act out the solution. Is it a win-win resolution?

There may be several solutions the group likes. The actors may try acing out all of them.

Divide the Pioneers into small groups and get each group to think of a conflict situation and use the problem solving approach to find a solution. Each group can then act out their problem solving for the rest of the group.

Discussion questions:

Once all of the sketches have been performed, get the group to discuss the following questions:

  • What makes the conflicts in the performances escalate?
  • What words can people say to indicate that they want to stop the fight and try to solve the problem?
  • Have you ever had a conflict like this one? How did you resolve it?

Resources Required

Flip chart / large paper, marker pens


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