Virtual Team Building Events

Activity Description

Activity Overview

Through practicing body language and tone of voice, participants will learn effective conflict management.


  1. To identify a number of ways of speaking that can be implemented to minimize conflict.
  2. Use body language in conflict minimization.
  3. To provide a way of practice in handling conflict to develop the ability to communicate clearly and directly.

Training Methods

  • Demonstration
  • Paired activity

Materials Needed

  • Flipchart
  • Markers
  • Sets of three different color-coded index cards (e.g red, blue and orange) on which is printed an example of either Message, Tone of Voice, or Body Language. (The red cards should each contain a message from the document attached. The blue cards should each contain a different tone of voice from the sheet. The orange cards should each contain a different example of body language from the sheet.) See attached documents.

Room Setup

A circle of chairs

All leaders, no matter the level in which they work in their organization, need to sharpen their communication skills. Many conflicts are avoidable if leaders could only carefully select the words, tone of the message and accompany it with appropriate body language.

Step by Step Instructions

  1. Facilitators need to introduce the activity by saying something like this, “Communication, especially during conflict resolution, requires an ability to use and interpret carefully both verbal and nonverbal cues. We are going to practice with some examples so that you, as a leader,  you will be comfortable making your points clearly in a conflict situation.” Distribute the attached Handout named: Phrases for Practice Rounds. Practice by dividing participants into pairs and have them move their chairs to face one another.
  2. hen write this phrase on the flipchart: Please, try that again! “Take turns speaking the following simple phrase, putting inflection or emphasis on a different word in the phrase each time you say it.” Ask them to say this phrase four different ways:

    Please, try that again.
    Please, try that again.
    Please, try that again.
    Please, try that again.

  3. Debrief by asking participants to respond to these questions:

    Which worked?  Did you have to think of some specific situation to make a true difference in your language style?

  4. Begin Practice  number 2 by saying, “In your pairs, take turns speaking the following phrases, putting importance on a different word in the phrase each time.”

    a. This time you did it very well.
    b. Have you understood the instructions for this process?
    c. Which result were you hoping for?
    d. What are your thoughts?

  5. Debrief by posing this question for discussion:

    “Why do simple phrases like these get you into trouble during a conflict?”   

  6. For Practice #3, ask participants to change partners and tell them, “This time, take turns speaking the same phrases but put inflection or emphasis on a tone of voice that shows emotion. Listen to the way I can show a different emotion each time for:

    Anger (demonstrate)
    Interest (demonstrate)
    Pleasure (demonstrate)
    Apathy (demonstrate)
    Distraction (demonstrate)”

  7. Debrief by giving these points for discussion:

    Which tones of voice seem to be most valuable? What might be most appropriate? Which tone is the best one for a leader who is trying to resolve a conflict? Why?

  8. “Now, working separately, let us investigate with the three aspects of communication that are affected during conflict resolution: MESSAGE, TONE OF VOICE, and BODY LANGUAGE.” Display three heaps of printed cards that are of different colors. Let people choose a card from each pile and display an example of what the card says. Have participants guess the tone of voice and the body language that is being demonstrated.

    Then emphasize:
    “The message is what you are saying, as the earlier examples indicate. The white cards represent the words themselves—the message. The tone of voice has to do with how you are saying what you are saying. This is generally your emotional state. The cards that represent this are green. Body language refers to what you are showing with your body. As you are talking, are you looking away? Down? Or, in general, looking displeased? Might direct eye contact, nodding your head in approval, or extending your hand to pat the person give a better result? The body language cards here are yellow.” Have participants try another round and decide which interpretations were on-target.

  9. Bring the activity to a close by asking,

    “Are there instances when your voice, message, or body language has an effect on the conflict? Please share an example with us.”

Activity Review

Take time shortly after conducting this activity to ponder on how it went, how engaged the participants were, and what questions they raised. Then, make notes that include how much time you actually spent on the activity.

Conflict Management

Basic Details
Property Type : Team Building
Listing Type : Placeholder
Activity Type : Team Building
Focus On : Communication, Leadership, Problem Solving
Outcome Based : Yes
Facilities : Indoor
Props Required : Minor
Duration : 26+ minutes
Exertion Level : Low
Group Size : 1 - 8, 9 - 16, 17 - 30
Age : Adults