Post By:

Kristine Spindler Denton

Created On:

April 23, 2024

Conflict Resolution Using Vulnerability and Curiosity

CASEL Standards

Relationship Skills

Responsible Decision-Making


Students will be able to look at conflict resolution success as building a stronger relationship using vulnerability and curiosity instead of focusing on winning or losing.

Students will be able to demonstrate teamwork resolution skills through role-playing by listening to their teammates’ vulnerability answers and using curiosity to lead to a solution


Students will reflect on and demonstrate a new way to view conflict resolution as making a relationship stronger instead of them versus me and winning versus losing to assess mastery. Role-playing scenarios where students demonstrate conflict resolution skills(vulnerability and curiosity) present their solutions to the class will be used to asses mastery of the objective.

Lesson Key Points

  • Understanding conflict resolution and using it as a way to strengthen a relationship
  • Addressing the myth that one side wins or that compromise means both sides lose
  • Practicing vulnerability, curiosity, and empathy in resolving conflicts


Conflicts Resolution: the process of ending a dispute and reaching an agreement that satisfies all parties involved


Define conflict resolution. Ask students to think about a time when they had a conflict with a friend or family member and how they resolved it. Discuss how they felt initially and after the conflict was resolved. Give them time to reflect on if they felt closer to the person after going through a conflict and creating a solution together.

Share with students that everyone will go through a conflict and that keeping an attitude of “teamwork’ instead of “your way versus my way” will help to bring about a resolution that is mutually beneficial. The goal here is to see conflict resolution as an opportunity to strengthen relationships, not as a problem.

Work Period

1) Break students into groups and demonstrate the two steps that they will use when facing a conflict:

Step 1- Vulnerability

The student will write down how they feel and what their needs are.

Step 2- Curiosity

The students will write down what questions they have about the other person’s perspective.

Example: Student A wants to do a group project about frogs while Student B wants it to be about birds. Student A would write out why doing the project on their frogs is important to them and why they think itis a good topic for the assignment. Then Student A would write out questions such as “Why does my partner want to focus on birds? Do they like birds as much as I like frogs? What are their needs? How can I help support them? Do the topics have anything in common? Is there a third topic that we could use?”

2) Provide students with conflict situations (examples below) to analyze in their small groups using the vulnerability and curiosity model. Instruct them to write out how they might feel in the situation and what their needs might be(vulnerability) and what questions they might have for their partner (curiosity). Possible conflict situations to analyze in small groups (or have teacher or students come up with their own conflicts):

  • Agreeing on a group project topic
  • Finding a game that both want to play
  • Picking a movie or show to watch
  • Deciding what to eat as a family

3) Ask students to share their vulnerability answers and their curiosity questions as they role play with their group. After they have listened to teach other, ask students to talk through possible solutions that might work for both parties with the new information shared by each student. Remind students that their goal is to think and support each other as team members. Groups can role-play solutions for the class that they have agreed upon.


Students will discuss how they feel when conflict is treated as an opportunity to work as a team and support each other, rather than as a me versus them problem. Ask students to give a written or verbal reflection evaluating their own conflict resolution skills using vulnerability and curiosity.

Access the downloadable Conflict Resolution Using Vulnerability and Curiosity here.

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