Conflict Brainstorm by XMKlV0


Lawyers & Students Engaged in
     Peer Mediation

    Trainers Guide
Training Materials provided through the Western Regional Center for Drug-Free
Schools and Communities Project, 1995

Carlos Sundermann. Director

Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory
101 S.W. Main Street. Suite 500
                                  Portland. OR 97204

Field Office
828 Fort Street Mall. Suite 500
Honolulu. Hawaii 96813
Far West Laboratory for Educational Research & Development
730 Harrison Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
(415) 565-3000

Southwest Regional Laboratory
4665 Lampson Avenue
Los Alamitos. CA 90720
(310) 598-7661
@Permission to reproduce in whole or in part is granted with the stipulation that the
Western Regional Center for Drug-Free Schools and Communities. Northwest Regional
Educational Laboratory be acknowledged as the source on all copies.

The contents of this publication were developed under Cooperative Agreement Number S I 88A0000
with the U.S. Department of Education. However, the contents do not necessarily represent the policy
of the Department of Education and endorsement of the contents by the federal government should not
be assumed.

1995 NWREL, Portland, Oregon

               TABLE OF CONTENTS
Human Bingo
Personal Biography
Conflict Brainstorm
Sources of Conflict
Responding to Conflict
Animal Chart
Conflict Escalator
Handling Anger
Mediator Script
Communications Skills
“I” Messages
Active Listening
Trainers Mediation Demo
Collaborative Negotiation
Becoming a Mediator, 2
Positions & Interests
Perspectives and POV
Becoming a mediator, 3
A Good Outcome, Reaching Resolution
Nine-Dot Puzzle
Four Basic Steps
Mediation Gems
Mediation Information Sheet
Ten Reasons for Instituting a Program
Implementing a Program


 1.    To learn to see conflict as
 2.    To identify difference responses to
 3.    To learn and practice effective
   communication skills.
 4.    To understand how to negotiate
 5.    To learn and practice a mediation
 6.    To help implement a peer mediation
   in the school

    To introduce the trainers and the students to each other.
    To set ground rules and a full value contract.
    To give an overview of the training.


    As participants arrive, ask them to take a workbook, a pencil and nametag, and to
     write their names on the workbook and nametag. Students will bring these workbooks
     whenever there is follow-up peer mediation training.

    Trainers introduce themselves and tell a bit about how they have used mediation skills
     in their jobs or everyday lives. Students then are asked to tell their names and the
     grade they are in. Trainers might ask students for one additional piece of information
     other students don‟t know, so as to help “break the ice” among a group of students that
     might not yet now each other well.

    Ground rules: Explain that whenever a group of people get together for a meeting,
     training, or mediation, it is helpful to establish “ground rules” or a set of expected
     behaviors, so that people can feel comfortable about participating and time can be
     used efficiently.


   1. Read the text on the ground rules poster aloud, or ask a student to read them aloud for
      the group. Ask the group if they can agree to these ground rules. Ask if there are
      other ground rules the group would like to add. When the group has agreed to the
      established ground rules, post them in a prominent place where they are visible for the
      remainder of the training.

   2. Ask the participants to volunteer what they know about today’s training. Solicit
      what information they might have about the idea of mediation.

   3. Explain that mediation is simply a process of assisting people to talk together to
      resolve a conflict they have between them. Mediation helps people overcome their
      differences in a positive way by helping the two sides negotiate or “talk things out.”
      Sometimes people in conflict have a hard time seeing a middle ground between two
      points of view. Mediators use communications skills to help resolve these conflicts by
      helping both sides see a middle ground both parties can agree to that helps to resolve
      their conflict. This in its simplest terms is the basis for mediation for conflict
      resolution. When students help other students do this mediation, it is called peer
      mediation, with “peer” meaning “an equal.”

   4. FULL VALUE CONTRACT: Post the contract and read it aloud or have a student
      read it. Explain that at the end of the training session, participants can agree to
      continue to participate or not in the peer mediation program – it is their choice.
      However, if they continue to participate in the program, they will need to abide by the
      contract. The „commitment to the mediation program‟ also means making up missed
      school work when students take time out for training or mediations. Ask if everyone
      can agree to the terms of the contract at this point in the training.
                       GROUND RULES

1. Everyone in this room has the right to be treated
  fairly. This means:
       having the right to speak
       having the right not to speak

2. Everyone in this room has the right to be
treated with respect. This means:
     not being laughed at or made fun of

       not being interrupted

3. Everyone in this room has the right to feel
physically and emotionally safe. This means:
       Anything that is said of a personal nature will
        be confidential
       People in this room can trust and be trusted
        by the others

  4. Everyone     is    responsible   for   his/her   own

             TRAINERS WILL:
      Provide instruction in new skills
     Allow time to process and practice
         Be available when needed

                Be on time
      Participate as much as possible
Honor commitments to the mediation program

                             PERSONAL BIOGRAPHIES
15 Minutes

  1. To give participants an opportunity to get to know themselves.
  2. To give participants an opportunity get to know each other.


   1. Ask everyone to turn to the Personal Biography page in the workbook, and in the next
      few minutes to answer the questions. Encourage them to be as honest as they can.

   2. Ask everyone to get into groups of four or five, and have each person share what they
      wrote. It‟s OK to ask questions of each other or to discuss the answers.

   3. (NOTE: Trainers can make these first groups simple to form – i.e. those already sitting
      together to sustain a sense of safety in this first session. Alternatively, they can find
      alternate ways to form separate groups.)

   4. After five minutes, bring everyone‟s attention back to the front of the room, and solicit
      answers the students want to volunteer for Question #2 only at this time. (Remember:
      the Ground Rules allowed that students did not have to speak if they chose not to.)

   5. Ask for other feedback about this activity. Explain that the trainers will be referring
      back to this page throughout the training.

           Personal Biography

1 - Name

2 - What I hope to learn during this

3 - What I usually do when I have a
disagreement with someone.

4 - Something that makes me really

5 - What I do to calm down if I feel
I’m getting angry.

Find someone in the room who fits each description. Record their name and other
information asked for in each of the squares below.

Find someone who speaks        Find someone who       Find someone who met a
another language beside       collects something.      famous person. Who?
   Spanish or English.               What?
    Which language?

                                                        Find someone who is
 Find someone who has                                        colorblind.
ever won something in a
    contest. What?
                           Put your own name here.

Find someone who wasn’t    Find someone who as the     Find someone who has a
   born in a hospital.     same number of siblings      birthday on a holiday.
Where were they born?         as you. How many?             Which holiday?

                                 Conflict Brainstorm
Time: 10 minutes

   1. To talk about the meaning of the word “conflict.”
   2. To define conflict.
   3. To find positive as well as negative qualities of conflict.


   1. In small groups, ask participants to use the Conflict Worksheets in their workbooks and
      to list five synonyms for the word “conflict.” Encourage them to find simple words that
      come to mind easily. (For older students, divide into groups of 5-6 and award a prize
      of a bag of M&M‟s for the team that builds the longest list of synonyms; you might
      allow foreign words to count to help give everyone a chance contribute.) Alternatively,
      if the group is smaller, ask students to throw out synonyms and write these on the

   2. After 5 minutes in their small groups (if you used small groups), bring students‟
      attention back to the front and ask students to throw out the words they came up with.
      (If you have had a competition, ask each group to add up their lists; the group with the
      highest number reads off their list and the rest of the group decides if all their words
      are legitimate and if they should receive the prize.) Discuss why conflict has such a
      negative meaning. Solicit examples of local conflicts or recent conflicts reported on
      the news. Build a definition of conflict on the board.

   3. Ask the group if anything positive come from conflict. Encourage examples like
      “learning from other people,” “opportunities to grow as a person,” “developing stronger
      relationships,” etc. Ask if anything positive came of the local conflicts that were
      brought up earlier. In a district that is very sports-minded, suggest the conflict that
      comes from competition: a football or basketball game, a swim meet, a race.

   4. Ask the students to write some positive examples of conflict in their worksheets, or
      solicit answers from the group and write these on the board. Note that it is not our
      goal as mediators to get rid of all conflict, but to find better ways of dealing with it.

   5. Ask for examples of conflict in nature (erosion in the Grand Canyon; forest fires that
      burn away debris and allow the replenishment of the forest.

   6. Read the “Conflict is Normal” page.

                    CONFLICT WORKHEET

Synonyms for Conflict






Definition of Conflict:

Examples of Positive Outcomes of Conflict:





                                    Sources of Conflict

Time: 10 Minutes

  1. To understand what people fight about.
  2. To understand why people fight.
  3. To understand why some kinds of conflict are very difficult to resolve.


   1. Divide a flipchart into three vertical quadrants.

   2. Ask the group, “What do young children fight about?” Put the responses on a flipchart
      in the left quadrant.

   3. Ask the group, “What do adults fight about?” Put the responses on the flipchart in the
      middle quadrant.

   4. Ask the group, “What do countries in the world fight about?” Put the responses on the
      flipchart in the right quadrant.

   5. Go through the lists with a colored marker and circle the items that represent things,
      like toys, cars, money. Suggest that finding a way to resolve a conflict about these
      things is not so difficult.

   6. Go through the lists with a colored marker and circle the items that represent needs,
      like love, privacy, respect. Suggest that finding a way to resolve a conflict about these
      things is more difficult.

   7. Go through the lists with a colored marker and circle the items that represent values,
      like freedom, peace and honesty. Explain that these are beliefs and are often not
      negotiable. In these situations, it is usual that both sides will keep their point of view
      and agree to disagree, but in a way that is respectful of the other‟s point of view. (With
      an older training group, such issues might include religion, abortion rights, capital

   8. Post the “Causes of Conflict” slide, or refer students to their workbooks. Tell the
      students they will come back to these pages again.

                 CAUSES OF CONFLICT

What do people fight about?

    Limited resources
        Time
        Money
        Property

    Basic Emotional (Psychological) Needs
        Need to survive
        Need to be loved
        Need for control
        Need for dignity and respect

    Differing Values and Beliefs
   Different perceptions and points of view
   Different cultures
   Miscommunication and Misunderstanding

                                 Responding to Conflict

Time: 25 minutes

   1. To recognize different ways of responding to conflict.
   2. To discuss how culture or family backgrounds affect how one responds to
   3. To consider using different ways of responding to conflict based on the


   1. Ask two or three people to volunteer to share what they wrote in #3 on the Personal
      Biographies (reactions to having a disagreement with someone.) Keep asking until
      you have more than one kind of response to conflict.

   2. Explain that there are different ways to respond to a situation with conflict. Each of us
      may have a usual way, and there might be other ways called for by the conflict
      situation. We have a choice about how we respond.

   3. Post in turn the “Animal” styles of responding to conflict.

Overhead “Turtle.” (aka, The Avoider) Ask the students to give examples of behaviors we
associate with a turtle: pulls his head in when there is trouble, tries to becomes invisible in a
crisis.) Ask if any of them had ever responded to a conflict by pretending it wasn‟t there.

Overhead “Teddy Bear” (aka The Accommodator). Ask the students to give examples of
behaviors we associate with a teddy bear: keeps the peace at any cost; never challenges his
or her friends.) Ask if any of them had ever responded to a conflict by giving in to keep the

Overhead “Shark.” (aka The Confronter) Ask the students to give examples of behaviors we
associate with a shark: aggressive, pushy, needs to get his or her way.) Ask if any of them
had ever responded to a conflict by insisting on getting his or her way in a disagreement.

Overhead “Sheep” (aka Always looking for someone to Help). ” Ask the students to give
examples of behaviors we associate with a sheep: runs in a herd, runs away from trouble and
looks for someone to fix the problem.) As if any of them had ever responded to a conflict by
running to someone else to fix the problem.

Overhead “Fox.” Aka The Compromiser.) Ask the students to give examples of behaviors we
associate with a fox: trying to split the difference, being tricky to get out of trouble.) As if any
of them had ever responded to a conflict by finding a compromise that will solve the problem
quickly, if not fairly.

Overhead “Owl.” Aka The Collaborator.) Ask the students to give examples of behaviors we
associate with a owl: can twist his head in any direction to see all sides of a problem; is silent
and wise – spend lots of time listening and not talking; when he talks, he has a thoughtful
answer. As if any of them had ever responded to a conflict by finding a compromise that is

The workbooks have pages with the characteristics of these types of conflict styles. The
important point is to help students consider that they can adopt these different styles
depending on the conflict. Some styles might be better in some kinds of conflicts.

    Have students turn to the “Lee and Andy Respond to Conflict” in their workbooks. Ask
     for 8 volunteers to take reading parts (they can remain in their seats). There is a role
     for a 1) Narrator, 2) Andy, and 3) Lee (six different students will read a different
     response as Lee). Each of the different answers Lee gives indicates a different conflict
     style. Each student will read his/her assigned part in turn. After each one of the “Lee”
     answers, ask the group which conflict style Lee has used in that instance. Encourage
     applause as the students finish.

    Debrief the skit. Ask each student how they felt about the style Lee used in their
     reading part. Was it the style they might use? Suggest that each approach might be
     used depending on other variables. Get the students to suggest some things that
     would affect why Lee would use those different styles (his mood, his relationship with
     Andy, how important it was to go to the movie, his culture, etc.)

    Ask if it makes a difference who the other person in the conflict is. For example, what
     if someone asks to borrow money, or a CD or other valuable item, from you. How will
     you respond if that person is 1) your Mom 2) your teacher 3) your little brother 4) your
     best friend 5) a student you don‟t know very well.

    Ask everyone to think of the last time they were in a conflict, and to recall what conflict
     resolution style they might have used.

    Ask for volunteers to share their experiences answers:
         What was the conflict.
         Who was the conflict with?
         What style did you use? What style did the other person use?
         Was it a good style for the conflict? What other style might have worked?

Ask students if they have watched a brother or sister, or a good friend, get into a conflict, and
then watch them use a conflict style that perhaps wasn‟t a good match for the situation.

Complete the unit by summarizing the main points: Anytime we are in a conflict, we always
have a choice of how to respond. While there are no right and wrong ways to deal with
conflict, there might be better and worse ways to improve the situation in conflict depending
on the circumstances of the conflict.

There Is No Conflict
Ignore The Conflict
Issues Are Not Addressed

Give In
Peace At All Cost.
Preserve The Relationship

Win At All Costs.

Realize Impasse
Give Away Power
   Accept The Decision Given.

Give A Little, Get A Little
Split The Difference
Make A Deal

Consider Both People‟s Needs.
Negotiate In Good Faith.
Accept Responsibility For The
Problem Without BLAME.

       Approaches to Conflict: Summary

    There is no conflict
    Ignore the conflict
    Issues are not addressed

    Give a little, get a little
    Split the difference
    Make a deal

    Competitive
    Win at all cost
    No consideration for the other guy

    Give in
    Peace at all cost
    Preserve the relationship

    Realize impasse
    Give away power
    Accept decision given

    C.onsider both people’s needs
    Negotiate in good faith
    Accept responsibility for the problem without blame

         Lee and Andy Respond to Conflict

NARRATOR: Andy and Lee go horseback riding every Saturday. They like to ride and they
like each other‟s company. One Friday, Lee excitedly tells Andy that s/he got two free tickets
to the local theater where a new move is showing next Saturday afternoon. Lee thought it
would be great if Andy and Lee could go together.

ANDY: I guess that‟s pretty cool, but I wanted to go riding, like we always do. I don‟t want to
go to the movies.

Lee #1: Well, OK, I guess we don‟t have to go to the movies (avoiding).

Lee #2: Well, if it really means that much to you, I guess we can go to the movies another
day? Would that be ok with you? (teddy bear – giving in).

Lee #3: You don‟t get it. These are free tickets and it‟s the coolest movie! Anyone else
would be excited to go. You only think of yourself! I‟m going anyway (shark, aggressive and

Lee #4: Tell you what: we‟ll go riding like we always do, but when it‟s time for me to go to the
movies, I‟ll just leave and you can keep riding. What do you think? Is that a deal? (fox, split
the difference).

Lee #5: Maybe we could ask at the theater if they are ever going to give tickets again or
maybe ask if the stables could let us ride a different day. (sheep, asking assistance from

Lee #6: OK – you really want to ride, and I really want to go to the movies. If we want to
spend Saturday together, we‟ll have to figure this out. What ideas do you have? (owl, offering
to collaborate.)

Circle Graphic

                             The Conflict Escalator

10 minutes

To understand how conflict can escalate and de-escalate.
To learn which factors can affect a conflict.


  1. Post the Overhead: Conflict Escalator

  2. Ask participants to turn to the Conflict Escalator in their workbooks. Have a
     volunteer read the first line, “In a conflict…” Discuss that every time we have a
     disagreement with someone, things are said or done that can either make it
     better (deescalate) or make it worse (escalate).

  3. Ask various volunteers to read the Conflict Escalator statements and see if they
     can find examples for each.

  4. Review the five influencing statements. Try to find examples from your own
     experience if students struggle with these ideas.

  5. For example, If someone borrows your bicycle without asking you, you might
     not go as far up the escalator is it was your best friend, but you might if was
     your little brother or a friend you don‟t know well.

  6. Ask if anyone has other examples of a conflict escalator.

                       CONFLICT ESCALATOR

               In a conflict, the things you say and do can take you up or down the
               Conflict Escalator. You always have a choice.


Being aggressive and intimidating; accusing, shouting, name-calling.

Bringing up things that happened in the past that have nothing to do with the current

Making overly general statements: “You always….”, or “You never…”

Making personal attacks on the other person instead of looking at the problem.

Pretending you don’t care about the problem, even if you now it’s important to the
other person.

Factors that Can Influence

What is your relationship with the other person?

What are your feelings toward the other person?

What is your usual conflict style?

How are you feeling about yourself right now?

                   What kind of mood are you in? Happy? Grumpy?

                                    Handling Anger
10 Minutes

      1. To understand that anger is a natural feeling.
      2. To become aware of how anger affects us.
      3. To find ways to calm down when we‟re angry.

1.       Explain that anger, like conflict, is natural and normal. We all experience it. Few
      people in the world never get angry. The important thing is to find a way to deal with your
      anger so that it is not hurtful to you or another person.

2.       Ask for volunteers to share what they wrote in their personal biography about
      something that really makes them mad (#4). Write those examples on the flipchart. Ask if
      others have found themselves getting angry over similar things.

3.       When people have stopped sharing, write the word RESPECT on the chart, and ask
      what it means.

4.        Respect is a difficult word to define. . The dictionary definition is “a feeling of
      admiration for someone because of their qualities or achievements.” Invite students to
      offer their ideas about respect, or examples of respectful behavior. Affirm those ideas that
      have to do with understanding or acknowledging the differences between people.

5.        Go back to the list and ask the group to help you circle all the things that came up
      because of lack of respect. This will probably include most of the items on the list. Make
      the point that “being respected” is one of the most important things to people.

6.       Explain that research shows that when we get very angry, we don‟t think clearly. It is
      important, therefore, to take some time to calm down so that we can think clearly, and
      make good choices about how to respond to the situation that made us angry.

7.       Ask for volunteers to share some of the things they wrote about what they do to calm
      down when they‟re angry.

8.       Post the overhead “Calming Down.”

9.       Research has also shown three ways to calm down:
             Relax the body (taking deep breaths)
             Distract oneself from the conflict (like counting)
             Talking to someone about your feelings

10.      Ask if anyone remembers being angry about something, and someone else
      helped them calm down. Talk about ways in which we might help a friend to calm
      down when there are angry. This will be important in mediation, because often
      people get in trouble because they don’t handle anger well.

Calming Down




                         Becoming a Mediator, Part 1

90 minutes

  1. To introduce the concept of mediation.
  2. To provide an overview of the mediation process.
  3. To participate in a mediation role play.


1.      Post the “Continuum” on the Overhead Projector
2.       Discuss ways in which people resolve conflict. The options range from “no resolution”
     to “decision by authority.” The changing variable is the amount of power and control
     people in the dispute keep or give away. On one side of the continuum (negotiation,
     mediation) people retain power to find their own answers. At the other side of the
     continuum (arbitration, litigation) some one else (judge, arbitrator, assistant principal)
     makes the decision. (Trainers might see if students have seen television programs, like
     the “Practice” or other “law and order” shows where there were attorneys in court, etc.

3.      Show a video about mediation and student mediation programs, to give a general

4.       Put Skills of the Mediator and the Mediator is… on the overhead. Ask students to
     find those pages in their workbooks. The trainers should read these aloud, and ask if
     students have any questions.

5.      Put up the Principles of Mediation overhead. Trainers should read these aloud, and
     ask for questions.

6.      Put up the Mediation Process overhead. Explain that mediation is a series of steps.
     The more students practice using these steps, the more comfortable they get with the
     process. Suggest the students make a poster of these steps when they start their
     mediation program to help remind everyone of the steps involved.

7.      Review the steps. Explain that going step by step is very important. Sometimes, you
     might have to go back a step, but paying attention to the list will help the mediation go

8.       Ask the students to go to the Mediators’ Script. Suggest that this language can be
     changed, but that they should read through the script each time they do a mediation to
     make sure they never skip a step. Review all of Page 1 (down to Issues which starts on
     Page 2). Spend some time discussing the issues that cannot be mediated, such as drugs,
     weapons, abuse. If you have a school counselor with you, this person can define these
     rules best.

9.         Ask each person to find a partner, preferably one they don‟t know too well. For the
      first go-round, each person will read through the first page, pretending the other person is
      the disputant, reading both Part A and B. When the first students are done, the second
      partner takes this role. The purpose is to make both parties comfortable with the language

10.      Ask how it felt to say these words.

11.       Now that everyone is comfortable with the opening, we will start our first role play.
      This time, students will go through the opening and get through “Issues” before stopping.
      Ask the students to get in groups of four. Your school counselor may have some
      interesting ways to regroup the students so that we have students working with other
      students who they might not know well. If nothing else, trainers can have students count
      off 1-4, and bring groups together by number. If there are uneven numbers of students,
      trainers can take the part of disputants. Also, some students can be made observers in
      this first try. Their job will be to see what worked and what didn‟t work, and to report their
      observations at the end of the mediation.

      12. Students can be asked to decide who will be disputants, and who will be mediators in
          this first run-through. They will switch roles in a later mock mediation. Remind those
          who are the disputants that they are supposed to “act” as the disputants but they are
          not supposed to make it impossible for the mediators to get to an agreement.

      13. Remind students to get through defining the issues, only. No solution finding yet!

      14. After about 10 minutes, check to see how closely everyone is to completing the
          assignment. As each group finishes, ask them to talk amongst themselves about what
          they liked and disliked about the process, what was easy, and what was hard. Ask
          what they might have done differently. If the group is small, the debriefing can be
          done with the full group participating.

      15. Explain that they will return to the groups and pick up where they left off, this time
          starting to find some ways to resolve the conflict. Ask the group to go to the
          Brainstorming page in their workbooks. Mediators should encourage the disputants
          to think of several different solutions, and to define which options each side is willing to
          accept. Stop at the end of the solution-finding session.

      16. After five minutes, check to see if the group has completed the assignment. Debrief, in
          small groups or in the full group session.

      17. Ask everyone to turn to the Mediator Referral and Report form in their workbook.
          Explain that many schools have separate forms – one as a referral to mediation, and
          one for the report on how the mediation went. If this practice mediation had been a
          real one, the student mediators would have had to complete such a form.

      18. Ask each student complete the mediation form as if they had been the mediators. Go
          back to their practice session and write up the agreement the session mediators had
          found. Remind the mediators that the agreement needs to be written up just as the
          disputants want it written: remember, it is their agreement. Have the students read it
          over to see if it accurately reflects what they have said, and sign it. Mediators should
          sign the forms too, as they would in a real mediation situation.

     Conflict Resolution Continuum

Avoidance       Negotiation       Mediation           Arbitration     Litigation   Authority

Decision Left   Students in a conflict reach a          A third party renders a    Decision by
 to Chance      decision to resolve their own                   decision             power

                        Skills of the Mediator

               Neutral                                 Does not Judge
           Doesn‟t take sides                 Doesn‟t decide who is guilty or innocent

           Is fair to both sides                    Doesn‟t tell parties what to do

Is a role model for collaborative behavior              Does not give advice

                                                          Looks to the future

         Good Listener                        Maintains Confidentiality
                                                     and Trust
        Keeps good eye contact

             Pays attention                        Doesn‟t talk about the mediation

     Summarizes important points              Creates an good atmosphere for sharing

  Does not interrupt unless necessary             Encourages future use of mediation

A mediator is:

A good listener

Someone you can trust

Concerned with people‟s feelings

Someone who treats everyone with respect

A mediator is not:
A judge

An advisor

A counselor

A policeman

An Assistant Principal

Someone who takes sides or looks for blame

Student Peer Mediation is not:
A substitute for school policy

Students telling other students what to do

To be used if there is any discussion of drugs, weapons, or abuse

The magic answer that will bring lasting peace to every school


   Students agree come to mediation, and to observe settlements they help
   develop. Students are also given all the information they need to know what
   mediation is about, and what they are agreeing to. (informed consent).

   Students who participate in mediation are responsible for the pocess and the
   outcome. Mediators do not make up the agreements. This outcome belongs to
   the disputants themselves.

   Students who participate in mediation believe that the process will be fair, and
   that the mediators will never take sides.

   Students who participate in mediation believe that nothing they said in
   mediation will be told to any other party, unless issues of abuse, drugs,
   weapons or alcohol are brought up. This is to encourage honest sharing of
   important information.

Opening            Welcome, introductions
                   Role of the mediator
                   Ground rules
                   Confidentiality

Story              Each party says what happened
                   Perceptions
                   Positions and interests
                   Feelings

Issues             Parties help create an agenda
                   Define issues to be addressed

Possibilities      Generate options
                   Negotiate
                   Identify BATNA

Agreement          Determine mutual satisfaction
                   Be clear and specific
                   Be realistic
                   Write it out, parties sign.

                         Mediator Script

My name is ___________. What is your name? _______________
(Everyone introduces themselves.)

Mediator A: “We are mediators. We will help you two to solve your
We will not take sides, or decide who is right or wrong.
We won’t tell anyone – students or adults, anything that is said here,
unless there is an issue of drugs, weapons or of a person being hurt.
We would like you to agree to not tell about this discussion as well.”

Mediator B: “There are some basic ground rules we want to keep:
       1. No interrupting when someone is speaking.
       2. Treat everyone with respect, and no name-calling.
       3. Be honest.
       4. Work to solve the problem, take responsibility for doing
          what you say you will do.
Can you agree to these ground rules?”

MEDIATOR A: Can you tell me in your own words what happened?
(listens to Student A tell what happened)
I heard you say: (say what you heard the person say). Is that right?
Can you tell me how that made you feel?
Can you tell me what you would like to happen?
I heard you say:

MEDIATOR B: Can you tell me in your own words what happened?
(listens to Student B tell what happened)
I heard you say: (say what you heard the person say). Is that right?
Can you tell me how that made you feel?
Can you tell me what you would like to happen?
I heard you say:

The Issues: We want you to help us make a list of the problems you
are having. We will write that list down. (Write the list with help
from both students, then share the list to see if it is right.)

The Possibilities:

We are going to make a list of ways to solve the problem. We will
first make a list of any idea, and then we’ll talk about which one is
the best for both of you. Think of as many ideas as you can. (Write
down the list of all ideas.)
Mediator A: Which of these ideas do you think is good?
Mediator B: Which of these ideas do you think is good?

(Keep trying for ideas that will be good for both students.)

The Agreement:

(When you find an idea that will work for both students, you will
write it down. Write the words as the students say. Let them read
the agreement when you are done. If the words are right, then ask
them to sign the agreement.

This is your agreement. You said you would do these things to help
solve your problem. If you don’t follow this agreement, you would
have to come back to Ms. Eller or _________________. We hope you
can keep this agreement.

Remember that we mediators will not talk to anyone about this
mediation. We will just say that it has been solved. We hope you
will say the same to your friends, and that you will not talk about this

Congratulations on all your hard work, and on getting to a good

If this were a real mediation, you would now bring your signed
agreement to your counselor or vice principal, and you would go
back to class.


                            BRAINSTORM WORKSHEET

   1. List all the issues that are causing the problem.
   2. Make sure both disputants are adding items to the list.




  1. List all the ideas that could solve the problem. Don‟t criticize any ideas now.
  2. Don‟t talk about any one idea until you have a list of ideas.
  3. Make sure both disputants are adding items to the list.








Date:________________                               Urgency:
                                                        Needs Immediate
                                                        As Time Permits
Names of students in conflict:
_________________________________________                  Grade ___________
_________________________________________                  Grade ___________
_________________________________________                  Grade ___________
_________________________________________                  Grade ___________

Where conflict occurred (check one)

Briefly describe the problem:


Mediation requested by (check one)

Signature of person requesting


We have made and signed this agreement because we believe it resolves the issue(s)
between us.

Disputant Signature                           Disputant Signature

Mediator Signature                            Mediator Signature

                              Review Activity: Thumb Wars
10 minutes

  1. To review the concept of choice when approaching a conflict.
   2. To demonstrate the role of mediator as an agent to encourage


Explain that we are going to do a fun activity to review what we‟ve learned. Ask each student
to pick a partner. Demonstrate that students will grasp each others hand

                       Communication Skills – Clarifying Questions

15 minutes

  1. Learning the importance of speaking clearly and listening carefully.
  2. Learning to ask clarifying questions.

Misunderstanding and miscommunication have already been identified as main causes of
conflict between students. God communications skills can be invaluable, at home with the
family, at school with friends, and with colleagues in the workplace.

There are two main aspects to communication: talking and listening. This activity is a fun way
of demonstrating the importance of speaking clearly and listening carefully. It also helps
students learn the value of clarifying questions.

Participants are paired up (A and B), with their chairs back to back if possible.

Give each person a piece of paper and a pencil. Give student A the first diagram to draw
without letting Student B see the drawing item. The object is to get Student B to accurately
draw the item, using only verbal commands from Student A. In this first sketch, Student B
cannot ask Student A questions. Student A cannot observe Student B‟s efforts until trainers
call “time.” Students are asked to share their diagrams.

Usually this elicits laughter if the diagrams differ significantly.

Now reverse the pairs. In this instance, Student B is given the diagram, but this time, Student
A can ask clarifying questions as they work. Student B is not allowed to see Student A‟s
efforts until the trainers call “time.”

Usually this effort is much more successful. Remind the students that the pictures improved
for two reasons: better, more careful descriptions, and the opportunity for the other person to
ask questions to clarify the instruction.

Help the students understand how these skills will help them in the mediations they undertake.
Ask how they saw the actors in the video doing this. Ask if these skills would have helped
them in the first mock mediation they conducted.

Following are examples of two images. Trainers are encouraged to find their own, so that
students in following years‟ trainings are not familiar with the images they will be asked to
draw. Enlarge these, and Xerox them for the trainings.

                                          “I Messages”

15 minutes

  1. To understand the difference between “I” statements and “You”
  2. To practice making “I” statements from “You” statements.

1.       Explain that it is important to remember that how you speak about a situation can help
     you escalate or deescalate a conflict. You must share information without blaming or
     threatening the other person. Ask for two volunteers to show what you mean.

2.       Ask them to turn to the Communications Page. Ask one person to read the “You” part
     of the message. Ask the group: What did you hear? What would you feel if someone
     said it to you? What might be the outcome?

3.      Ask the second volunteer to read the “I” part of the message. See if the group can
     see that this is the very same message, only told a different way. Ask the group the same
     questions: What did you hear? How would you feel if someone said it to you. What
     would the outcome be? Would the outcome be different than in the first example?

4.       Put up the OVERHEAD: “I” Messages

5.       Discuss the “I” message formula, emphasizing that it doesn‟t have to sound phony. In
     fact, after some practice, it can sound very natural.

        “When” this situation occurs….(Not, When YOU do this….)

        “I feel” is usually followed by one word: happy, sad, mad, glad…rather than “I feel like
         you are… (moving it to a “you” statement again..)

        “I want” shows you are willing to solve the problem. This must not be said in a
         threatening or demanding way.

6.       Ask the participants to get into groups of five to complete the “I” message worksheet
     as a group.

7.       After 5 minutes, bring the students back to the big group, and share the answers.

8.       Alternatively, these could be crafted keeping students in the big group, with the trainer
     writing the statements on the flipchart or whiteboard.

                     I MESSAGES

When (this situation occurs)
I feel (a feeling, usually one word)
I want (what it will take to make things better)
I am willing to (what I can do to make things

When ------------------------
I feel -------------------------
I want ------------------------
I am willing to -----------------

                             “I Message Worksheet”
Think of an “I” Message to go with each of these situations:

       Your friend Lee said that you could borrow his video game for the weekend. You were
       very excited and had told your cousin that he could come and play it with you. When
       you saw your friend on Friday, he said that he had given it to a different friend.

               I feel…
               I want….
               I am willing to….

       You came into the lunchroom and the seat you usually sit in, next to your friends, was
       stacked with everyone‟s coats and you had no place to sit. When you saw your best
       friend, she didn‟t say anything, or offer to move the coats, so you had to sit at a table
       by yourself.

               I feel…
               I want….
               I am willing to….

       You were in the gym and they were choosing sides for a game. You did not get picked
       until the very last, and you thought you heard two friends of yours laughing. You think
       they might have been laughing at you.

               I feel…
               I want….
               I am willing to….

   The following are examples of statements that look like “I” statements but are really
    accusatory “You” statements. Read these out loud see if you can tell why these are not
    good “I” statements.

       “I feel like you are jealous of me because I have more friends, which is why you won‟t
       invite me to your birthday party.”

       “I know you don‟t like to bowl, but I feel like bowling tonight and besides, we always do
       what you want to do.”

   Think of the last time you heard someone make a “You” statement that made you feel
    angry or hurt.

                                      Active Listening

25 minutes

  1. To understand the skills of active listening.
  2. To practice those skills.


Explain that even the best “I” message is no good if no pays attention to it. The second
component of communication, and equally as important, is good listening skills.
       Ask for a volunteer to come and help you with a role play Explain to him/her and to the
       group that he/she is supposed to help collect cans for the canned food drive during
       second lunch. He is having trouble getting the students to help him. He goes to (vice
       principal, counselor, etc.) for help. The trainer pretends to be this person. After he
       has read the role play, he will start to tell you about his problem. The trainer is to
       exhibit the worst listening habits, such as:
   2. Do not make eye contact. Be busy doing something else. Tell the student things like:

           a.   “Just ignore them. Can‟t you just do it yourself?” (avoiding the problem)
           b.   “You‟re being too sensitive.” (Ignoring feelings)
           c.   “Why don‟t they want to do what you say? Don‟t they like you?” (judging)
           d.   “By the way, I heard you were at the movies this weekend.” (interrupting)
           e.   “Here‟s all you need to do – give them an assignment and make them do
                it.(giving advice)”
           f.   “I had a problem like that…you wouldn‟t believe what we used to do in food
                drives…” (changing focus)

   3. Stop the exercise when the point has been made. Ask the volunteer what he felt. Ask
      the group what they saw happening. Thank the student for volunteering.

   4. Post the Communication Blockers overhead, or ask the students to go to the
      Communication Blockers page in their workbooks. Which of these did they notice in
      the role play?

   5. Post the Active Listening Techniques and Sample Phrases overhead or ask
      students to turn to the page in their workbooks.

   6. Review each of these in turn with the students.

   7. Choose one phrase from the role play, such as “I am really having trouble with these
      other students.” Ask six volunteers to use one of the six techniques to answer this
      person, demonstrating a better way of listening. Ask the student who played the
      canned food organizer how it would have felt to have heard these statements instead
      of those the trainer used.

   8. Post Active Listening Guidelines. Suggest that the students might want to make a
      poster with these statements, to post whenever there are mediations.

9. The last line of this page, #5, says “Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes
   to understand how they are feeling.” Tell the students that this is a very important
   part of the mediation process.

10. Ask if anyone has noticed that when people are in conflict they don‟t like to talk about
    their feelings. Have the students seen when someone might be too embarrassed, or
    confused or use words that really explain their feelings? Ask if students have any
    examples. If not, the trainers might suggest some, like: How come you always make
    me work with someone else on my math? (Don’t you think I can do it myself?), or
    I hate these stupid uniforms, so I’m not going to try out for the team. (Maybe
    his/her family can’t afford the uniforms, or he/she is large and is afraid the
    uniform won’t look good on him/her?)

11. Caution the group that developing good communications skills is not easy. And not
    everyone will be a good listener, even if you make good “I” statements. Keep
    practicing, and you will find that your skills improve, and there will be less conflict in
    your efforts with your friends, teachers, and brothers and sister.

Communication Blockers

   Avoiding the important issues

   Discounting the other person’s feelings

   Judging – the situation and person

   Giving Advice

   Interrupting

   Changing the focus to your own



Reframe or restate: shows you are listening and you understand
     “I hear you saying…”
     “So you see the problem as…”

Asking open-ended questions: Questions that cannot be answered with a
“yes” or “no” so that more information is shared
     “Why do you think that is?”
     “What would you like to see happen?”

Empathizing: Shows you are trying to understand how the person feels.
     “That must have been tough!”
     “I think I understand why you feel that way.”

Clarifying: Clears up confusing points
     “When did you say that happened?”
     “Where were you at the time?”

Summarizing: Finds the important points.
     “These appear to be the important points.”

Validating: Tells the person they value what the person has shared.
     “I appreciate your honesty.”
     “It sounds like you are doing the best you can.”


 Listen w/o interrupting, judging or
 giving advice.
 Show interest through:
   o Eye contact
   o Facial expressions
   o Tone of Voice
 Repeat in your own words what the
 other person’s main points were.
 Ask open-ended questions to gather
Put yourself in the other person’s shoes
  to understand how they are feeling.

   Collaborative Negotiation

Separate the people from the problem:
 Define the problem carefully
 Discuss the differences in perception and point of
 Clearly express honest emotions
 Try to build a good relationship

Separate Positions from Interests
 Try to find out what each person wants
 Positions + “Why?” = Interests
 Be as specific as possible

Create Options that Satisfy Both People‟s Needs
 Generate as many ideas as possible
 Do not look for one single solution
 Avoid passing judgment on any one suggestion

Agree on how solution will be determined:
 Agreement should not be based on power or
 Solutions should be based on fairness
 All parties should participate in reaching

Exploring the Tip of the Iceberg

             Presenting Problem



     Needs                Suspicions



  Assumptions                     Feelings

Communication happens when the listener hears and understands a speaker’s
thoughts and feelings. You can help with the communication in the following

Summarizing: Saying in your own words the most important things that you
heard, and also saying what feelings the other person described.

Asking Open-ended Questions:      When you asked open-ended questions (where

a “yes” or “no” is not enough) you get more information that could be valuable.

Validating Feelings: Saying it is OK to have feelings, and trying to also
understand how the other person is feeling.

Encouraging: Help the students to see that this process will be good for them,
even if it is hard to begin with. Tell them they are doing a good job, and help
them continue until both students find a good solution.


                               S A V E
You might just SAVE the day!!


 Meets interests of both parties

 Is fair

 All terms are clear, specific

 Is realistic, can be honored

 Better than the alternative

 Establishes the possibility of a future


 Makes next negotiations go smoother

                      9- DOT PUZZLE
Connect all the dots with four straight lines, without lifting your

pencil off the paper. Can you do it??

                                                      

                                                      

                                                      

     Four Basic Steps to Conflict Resolution

1.     Be aware of the conflict, the feelings you have about it,
       and the choices you have to resolve it.

2.     Use your best communication skills.
        “I” Messages
        Active Listening

3.     Creatively brainstorm
        Think of all possible solutions
        Think of what will meet the needs of both students

4.     Make an agreement that is reasonable, and can be
        It must be realistic.
        It needs to be fair


             “I see your point!”

          “I’ve always liked you.”

      “I know I’m partly at fault here.”

“Everyone knows you’re good at that!”

“I can imagine how that must have felt”

 “It would be great to get through this
         and still be friends.”

             Mediation Information Sheet
The school might design a sheet similar to this one to
give to students who come to mediation the first time.

Welcome to Mediation.

Here are a few things you need to know about the process.

      You will be meeting with two student mediators. They have been trained to help you
       talk about the problem that brought you here. They are not going to decide who is
       right or wrong, and they will not take sides.

      The mediators will not tell anyone, students or adults, about what is said today.
       Everything is confidential, with three important exceptions. If this problem has to do
       with weapons, guns or child abuse, the mediators will have to tell the school

      The goal of this process is for you two to work out the problem that brought you here.
       They will help you find a solution that is fair to both of you. If you can find an
       agreement, the mediators will help you write it down. If the two of you do what you say
       you will do, there will be no further discussion of this issue.

      Do you have any questions now? You may also ask questions of the mediators when
       you meet with them. This should take about an hour.

   Ten Reasons for Instituting a School-
        Based Mediation Program
    1. Conflict is a human problem which is better approached with mediation skills rather
       than aggression or avoidance.

    2. There are more effective ways for dealing with student disputes in a school setting
       than expulsion, suspension, and detention.

    3. Using peer mediation to solve some of these problems can result in better
       communication in the school among students, between students and teachers, and
       within families. It can improve school climate.

    4. Peer mediation can help reduce violence, vandalism and chronic absenteeism.

    5. Mediation helps students and teachers alike deepen their understanding of themselves
       and others, and gives them life-long skills.

    6. Mediation training increases students‟ skills and interest in conflict resolution, justice
       and the American legal system, and helps build citizenship activity.

    7. Shifting responsibility for solving conflicts from adults to students can free teachers
       and administrators to deal with teaching rather than discipline.

    8. Recognizing young people‟s ability to resolve their own disputes encourages student
       growth and gives students skills that will help all their learning.

    9. Mediation training, with its emphasis on listening to other‟s points of view and peaceful
       acceptance of differences, helps students develop critical thinking skills, and enhances
       their recognition and acceptance of diversity.

    10. Mediation can be used by students who do not feel comfortable talking about a
        particular issue with a parent of teacher; but brings those issues to a place to find

The LASER structured method instructs students to bring back to the administration those
dangerous issues that should always be addressed by an adult, but allows students to
address those issues that are within their power to resolve.

(Above adapted form Davis, “Tales of Schoolyard Mediation.” Update on Law Related Education, Winter 1985.)

              Implementing a Peer Mediation Program

       Select an implementation team: administrator, counselor, lawyer team, staff

       Assess the needs of the school

       Select a person to coordinate the program

       Determine how the new program will fit with existing policies and procedures in the
       Discipline, referrals, scheduling of training, scheduling of mediators, arranging
        mediations, record keeping, curriculum infusion, etc.

       Staff orientation (recommended .75 – 2 hours practicum)

       Student orientation: classroom presentations and assemblies

       Selection student mediators

       Mediation training (8-15 hours); coordinators, lawyers, staff, students, parents

       Parent presentation (optional .75 – 2 hours with demonstration)

       Implementation of Program

       Ongoing meetings and training


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