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Simulation Exercise

Fish Bowl of Conflict

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Fish Bowl of Conflict is an opportunity for participants to get other perceptions on conflicts which they are facing at different levels (intrapersonal, interpersonal, group) and find possible solutions that can be practical applied.

Aims of the tool

Main aim of the exercise is develop participants understanding of conflict, its roots as to increase their possibility to find and reflect on possible solutions of various conflict situations as well as to develop participants ability to reflect on the conflict from other perspectives.

Description of the tool

Firstly the participants are asked to write down description of their “conflict story” which they were or are currently facing. There is no need to sign the story but it is important that the story will be understandable to others when reading at the beginning of the discussion. It is also good to point out that the description should not include just information about “conflict escalation” but try to also introduce the history of the conflict.
After the facilitators choose several situations for the own exercise and the working space is adjust when the participants are sitting in the circle and in middle of the circle are three chairs for people who would be discussing the conflict situation.
To start the exercise the facilitators can ask for three volunteers who would like to take sit on the chairs in the middle of the circle. It is important to stress that just these participants have right to discuss the situations. If anyone else would like to express opinion he/she needs to replace person in middle by touching his/her shoulders.
When first participants are ready the facilitator read the conflict situation. After reading without any additional commenting from his/her side the participants can start with the discussion with goal to share their point of view, experiences as their possible solutions. Others are encouraged to take part in the discussion by replacing with goal to gather also other points of view.
When the discussion is finished the debriefing is taking place and after other situation can be discussed.


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SALTO cannot be held responsible for the inappropriate use of these training tools. Always adapt training tools to your aims, context, target group and to your own skills! These tools have been used in a variety of formats and situations. Please notify SALTO should you know about the origin of or copyright on this tool.

Tool overview

This tool is for

This exercise can be adjusted to different target groups – to the backgrounds of the participants as their professional experiences.

and addresses

Social Inclusion, Anti-Racism, Intercultural Learning, Gender issues

Materials needed:

Pen, papers.


The duration of the exercise can be adjusted by choosing the conflict situations that should be discussed. For one discussion it is possible to count up to 20 minutes and plus 10 – 15 minutes for possible debriefing.

Behind the tool

The tool was created by

The tool was experimented in training course "Focus on Conflict" implemented by Citizen Forum Denica in March 2012 in Macedonia.

The tool was published to the Toolbox by

Ilona Olehlova (on 14 June 2012)

and last modified

13 June 2012

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