How can we transform conflict at home, at work, in our communities and in the world?
From the Global Negotiation Project at Harvard UniversitySend this page to a friendPrinter friendly page
What is the Third Side?
3S Assumptions
3S Skills
Where is it Working?
3S Roles Everyone Plays
Apply 3S to my Situation
Teach about the Third Side
Thirdside Conversations
Everyday Thirdside Actions
Keep me Informed

3S Skills - Listen from the Thirdside

As a Thirdsider to consider the whole situation and to listen from the Thirdside. The key is your ability to Step to Both Sides. In order to consider the whole you need to understand each side within itself. We often predispose ourselves to seeing the world one way. Listening allows us on opportunity to see from multiple vantage points and allows us to see the whole. Listening is a simple way to show respect. Watch your intention in your listening. If your intention to listen is to find a way to convince them of "your way" , to prove them "wrong" or "convert the right side," you will not create an opportunity for a solution that supports each side and the surrounding community. Remember to go to the Balcony if you find yourself defending a perspective or listening simply to rebut.

In order to Step to Both Sides you need to: Put Yourself in the Others Shoes, Listen and Acknowledge, Ask Problem-Solving Questions, and Listen for Action.

Put yourself in the Other's shoes
  • Understand how each side sees the situation
  • Understand how each side feels
  • What you see depends on where you sit
  • Listen and Acknowledge
  • Listen more than you talk
  • Listen from the inside
  • Paraphrase
  • Acknowledge the point and the person
  • Ask Problem Solving Questions
  • Ask open ended questions
  • Ask questions to which they do not know the answers
  • Ask questions many ways
  • Tap the power of silence
  • Listen for Action
  • What is waiting to happen?
  • What is needed here?
  • What is mine to do here?
  • What are the opportunities for Third Side action?