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YLT-Diplomacy Fishbowl

Diplomacy is an effective way of resolving conflicts without relying on a decision prescribed by an authority. It works by having a trained expert (or team of experts) help others in conflict come to a solution that everyone is happy with. Practice your diplomacy skills and see if you can reach a solution!

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Plan

  • How many scenarios will each person write for the group? How much time will you allow to write scenarios? What real-life current events can you draw upon?  
  • What steps need to be followed for effective diplomacy?  
  • What rules will you have in place for your negotiations?  
  • How much time will you give to discuss the scenarios your team is given before presenting to the group?  
  • What roles will everyone play? How will you decide?  
  • How much time will you allow for negotiations to take place? How will you know when to stop? 

Do

  • As individuals, write some brief scenarios of current event conflicts. Your scenarios should include a role for at least two parties, though you may have more.  
  • Be creative when writing your scenarios; they may be based on conflicts between provinces or countries, or they may be based on conflict between families or individuals.  
  • Come together as a large group. Put your scenarios in a hat and take turns drawing them out.  
  • Find out how many roles there are in the scenario, then pick enough volunteers from the group to fill the roles.  
  • Take a minute or two to discuss the scenario you’re given, then get in character to present your scenario to the group. 
  • Those presenting the scenario should sit in chairs, and the rest of the group should sit in a circle around them.  
  • After the conflict has been presented, the group can ask questions of the actors and try to facilitate a solution to the problem. 

Review

  • What do you know now that you did not know before?  
  • How did you feel before, during and after this adventure?  
  • What did you like or not like about the solutions the group suggested for the scenarios you wrote?  
  • How did it feel to be in the middle of the fishbowl? What did you discover from this experience? 

Keep it Simple

Start by applying this principle to conflict situations that you’ve encountered in your life. How could you use diplomacy to solve them? Then, after practicing your diplomacy skills, try to apply them to a conflict happening in your city or community.  

Take it Further

How does diplomacy work in the real world? Research the role of diplomacy in solving real-world conflicts. Were any of your solutions similar to the ones that were used in real life?