A framework to teach conflict resolution strategies for students
The path to conflict resolution can be explored through a framework of five main steps based on the ORID model of facilitation – starting by framing the conversation, and followed by observational questions, reflective questions, interpretive questions, and decisional questions.
Before we begin exploring the framework in more detail, it’s important to remember that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to conflict resolution. While this particular framework is a useful tool to help facilitate conflict resolution with students, it is just one of many ways to do so.
Framing the conversation
Before diving into the specifics of the conflict, it’s important to frame the conversation to create a space for fair and diplomatic exploration.
Framing the conversation starts with identifying the reason and purpose for addressing the conflict in the first place. After determining the objective for the conflict resolution, it’s important to then assure all parties involved that they will feel heard and included in the conversation.
Then, as the adult, make sure to identify your role as a facilitator to help keep the discussion open and on track, rather than as the decision-maker to determine the process of events, as this is ultimately what we are trying to encourage the students to take ownership of.
The intention of observational questions is to remove emotions and emotional responses from the equation while you explore what happened, and focus on the facts rather than opinions.
Relying on observations also eliminates the tendency to be swayed by emotional responses to a situation, which can cloud our ability to see the situation for what it really is.
Additionally, observational questions allow for a situation to be viewed from a range of different perspectives, providing a broader understanding of a situation and how it could have been observed or experienced from different angles.
With a better grasp on the facts of the conflict being explored, encourage space and conversation to reflect on the situation in relation to each student’s feelings and responses to what’s happening.
Reflective questions relate more to the emotional needs and feelings of a person, and give us greater insight into our relationship with the conflict.
Exploring interpretive questions helps us delve deeper into the answers to what was reflected on in the previous step. It is important to explore these aspects to help students interpret why they may be feeling certain emotions as a result of the conflict.
Interpretive questions also enable students to recognise the impacts of the conflict on the wider group, and how this can also affect people individually.
This is one of the most crucial steps to moving forward from the conflict. Once students have covered the previous steps to observe, reflect, and interpret the conflict and its impact, they are better equipped to determine appropriate and suitable decisions they can put into action to resolve the conflict, and be mindful of how to approach similar situations in the future.
Free conflict resolution strategies ebook for teachers
Our 5 Easy Steps for Conflict Resolution ebook is your go-to resource on how to teach students to manage conflict resolution. The ebook also includes question ideas to help guide each step of the conflict resolution process and ensure your students are equipped with everything they need to feel confident to address and manage conflict head-on. Download your free copy of the Conflict Resolution ebook for teachers here, and help your students take ownership of their ability to resolve conflict.