Here’s A Short Conflict Management Exercise To Use With Your Team

Angry worker shouting at colleagueAs a manager you should certainly be able to deal with conflict, even if it means negotiating.

The truth, however, is that every member of your team should be able to do the same thing because doing so will mean they’re better able to work together as a team.

One way to teach conflict management is to play a game known as “Divide the Loot.”

While we often suggest playing this game with real money, you can take some sort of play money to use instead.

Here’s how to play:

  • Divide your team into two groups so that one can be the “management” and the other can represent “employees.”
  • Each group will start it’s own “pot” of money. Each person will pay a different amount into the pot but no one will know how much anyone else put into the pot.
  • After a set amount of time, the activity leader will take both pots, combine them into one, and then add his own contribution.
  • He’ll then total the pot and tell everyone how much is in the pot.
  • Everyone will know how much he contributed individually but no one will know how much anyone else, from their own team or the other, contributed. No one knows how much the project manager contributed either.
  • The teams will each have 10 minutes to decide how to fairly split the total of the pot amongst everyone in the room. After 10 minutes the managers and employees must come together and negotiate a final outcome.

The goal here is to encourage everyone to come to a final decision, working together to make a fair negotiation.

Try to keep the atmosphere in the room friendly. It is, after all, fake money and no one is going to lose anything at the end of the day!

Please click here for some further
conflict management exercise resources

Thanks again,


Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Training | Management Blog | Image courtesy of Big Stock Photo

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