The Third Side Approach in Conflicts: How Can I Start?

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The Third Side Approach in Conflicts: How Can I Start?

In the The Third Side, William Ury suggests several concrete steps that you can take to start mobilizing the third-side approach to tackle nagging conflicts.

Start Close to Home

Look for opportunities in conflicts to play a helpful third-side role with friends, family members, and neighbors, whether it’s mediating a dispute over a home renovation or coaching a kid’s sporting team.


Build powerful negotiation skills and become a better dealmaker and leader. Download our FREE special report, Negotiation Skills: Negotiation Strategies and Negotiation Techniques to Help You Become a Better Negotiator, from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.


Change the Story

Though a problem may seem intractable, assume that you can help make things better. Start off by talking about the conflict in positive terms.

Learn Some Skills

Take a class or read a book on negotiation. Urge your company to bring in professional coaches. Commit to lifelong learning to improve your negotiation skills.

Mediate Your Own Disputes

Confront the conflict in your own life, and apply the lessons learned to the disputes of others.

Fill a Missing Role

Use your strengths to help others in the most appropriate way. Figure out what help is needed and fill the role yourself.

Create a Winning Alliance

Recruit help and build a team. You can’t – and shouldn’t – do it all yourself.


Build powerful negotiation skills and become a better dealmaker and leader. Download our FREE special report, Negotiation Skills: Negotiation Strategies and Negotiation Techniques to Help You Become a Better Negotiator, from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.


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