The Body Part Debrief™—Embodying Conflict

The Body Part Debrief™—Embodying Conflict

Type of Initiative:  Debriefing tool, Conflict Resolution

Published in:   Setting the Conflict Compass, by Michelle Cummings with Mike Anderson

Purpose:  The Body Part Debrief™ was one of the first activities Michelle Cummings created at Training Wheels.  It is by far one of the most popular debriefing tools available and her personal favorite.  She uses it with 90% of the groups she facilitates with great success.  The Body Part Debrief™—Embodying Conflict is an adaptation of the metaphors of the body and how conflict affects us as leaders and team members.

Props Needed:  Objects or pictures of different body parts.

Directions:  Conflict exists at all levels in an organization.  Conflict is not reserved for specific titles and roles.  Organizational excellence or organizational disaster can often be measured by a team’s ability to resolve conflict.

This can be achieved by embodying the characteristics and practicing the skills necessary to resolve conflict, sustain performance, and encourage each other to keep a healthy work environment.

Present the following body part metaphors to use for conflict to the group.  Allow the group time to discuss what the parts mean to them and how these tools can help resolve a conflict they may be experiencing.

The Elements of Embodying Conflict

The Heart

Speak from the heart and be honest with your feelings.  Build trust and respect among those we work with by taking to heart constructive feedback.

The Mind/Brain

Individuals must think strategically when resolving a conflict, translate that strategy into tactical actions, and make sound decisions that are fair to all parties involved.

The Core of Conflict/Spine

Being courageous enough to stand up for what is right.  Get to the core of the issue to prevent it from happening again. 

The Ears

Actively listening to others and hearing what is important to them.  Be a good listener when someone has a conflict with you.  Remember, there are always two sides to the story.

Walk Your Talk/Foot

Be accountable for your actions.  Do what you say you are going to do.  Don’t stick your foot in your mouth by doing the opposite of what you said you would do.

The Eyes

Have a sound vision for the future.  Be open to new possibilities—even ones you did not come up with. 

Your Voice

When trying to resolve a conflict, speak in a tone in which the other party will hear you.  If your tone is disrespectful, your words will mean nothing.

Know when to speak up for the good of the organization.

Full Body or Shoulder

Take responsibility for your actions.  Do not blame others for your behavior.

Where to find it/How to make it:  The Body Part Debrief™ activity is trademarked through Training Wheels, www.training-wheels.com.  You may purchase this activity through their website.  You can also provide the group pictures of the different body parts.

Purchase from the Training Wheels store: Setting the Conflict Compass, Body Part Debrief™

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