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 Tools

Thirdside tools are available for each of these areas:

Teach and Educate

Curricula and Trainings

College Curriculum
View outline of curriculum before downloading PDF
Download College Curriculum (PDF) - Updated April 2003

High School Curriculum
View outline of curriculum before downloading PDF
Download High School Curriculum (PDF) - Updated April 2003

Introduction to Third Side
Download Presentation on the Third Side (PowerPoint)

One Day Training - Third Side Workshop
Download Facilitator's Guidebook (PDF)
Download Participant's Guide (PDF)

Third Side Stories and Case Studies
Stories and case studies are also available for you to use in your classroom to support your curriculum. Go to 3S Stories and Case Studies


3S Perspective Taking
Part of the challenge of being a thirdsider is being able to see different perspectives of a situation. This exercise helps people to see and ultimately understand the power of taking different perspectives.
Download 3S Perspective Taking Exercise (PDF)

3S Responding
This exercise gives people an opportunity to practice responding as a thirdsider. They will gain the confidence to take some action when they see a situation evolving in front of them. Possible courses of action will vary tremendously.
Download 3S Responding Exercise (PDF)

3S Triggers
Knowing how to manage our emotions productively is a large part of dealing with conflict and in taking the Third Side. This exercise is designed to help people have their emotions rather than be their emotions.
Download 3S Triggers Exercise (PDF)

3S Constructive Conflict
This exercise is designed to let people tell others about their experiences in resolving conflict constructively. By sharing a personal story about how they helped deal with a conflict constructively they are also explaining how they have acted as thirdsiders without even knowing it.
Download 3S Constructive Conflict Exercise (PDF)

3S Listening
The purpose of this exercise is to show how hard it is to really listen and the impossibility of listening to two conversations simultaneously.
Download 3S Listening Exercise (PDF)

3S Staging a Conflict
This exercise is designed to introduce conflict and to elicit a visceral reaction from the participants toward a simulated conflict. This will increase participants. self-awareness about their own relationships to conflict.
Download 3S Staging a Conflict Exercise (PDF)

Angus Third Side Activity
The Third Side Conflict Resolution Activity allows students to learn and practice a wide variety of skills and abilities including public speaking, debate, listening, thinking on one.s feet, note taking, working in groups, questioning, and reflecting. The focus of the activity is on the conflict between Palestine and Israel.
Download Angus Third Side Activity (PDF)

Large Group Exercise
This large-group exercise has been used in many of the thirdside trainings. The main purpose of this exercise is to demonstrate how thirdsiders can use the power of questioning to help the parties re-think a situation from a thirdside perspective that incorporates all the interests involved. The exercise gives participants the experience of being a thirdsider in a given conflict situation.
Download Large Group Exercise (PDF)

3S Roles
The 3S Roles exercise focuses on understanding which roles are most suitable for a certain person; it gives participants a better general understanding of the roles.
Download 3S Roles Exercise (PDF)

Sanford High Race Riots Simulation
Currently available in the back of Must We Fight.

Third Side exercises from the BothAnd Project
One of the initiatives of the Global Negotiation Project is the BothAnd Project. The following exercises developed for that initiative can also help build the skills Third Siders need to do their work.

  1. Going to the Balcony
  2. Dealing with Resistance and Staying on Track
  3. Framing the Issues and Questions

Disseminate and share

Wallet cards

These wallet cards are easy to carry and are a simple way share and remember the basic perspective of the Third Side. Each pdf has a two-page 2x5 standard business card layout. You can print these pages on both sides of the cards to create your own thirdside wallet cards.

What is the Third Side?
Download What is the Third Side wallet card document (PDF)

Three Questions for Thirdsiders
Download Three Questions for Thirdsiders wallet card document (PDF)


What is the Third Side? - One Page
This one-page handout describes the Third Side.
Download What is the Third Side - one page (PDF)

Sticker Designs
Some sample sticker designs for creating your own thirdside stickers. You can share the stickers with your community and post them around your town.
Download 3S Sticker Designs (PDF)

Online Audio

Listen to William Ury discuss Mediation and the Third Side (go to Oct. 2 show)

Listen to William Ury and others discuss the Roots of Peace, the Propagation of Peace, Pathways to Peace, the Surprising Preponderance of Peace, and the Third Side

Listen to William Ury discuss Getting to Peace

Assess and Work with a Conflict

Measuring the Cost of Conflict
This form can be used to evaluate the costs of a particular conflict to the parties involved and to the community surrounding the conflict.
View Measuring the Cost of Conflict Form

How Can I Apply the Third Side to my Situation?
This brief questionnaire can help identify the points at which the Third Side might help resolve a conflict that you are concerned about. It identifies specific roles you could play in the situation including what actions you could take.
Find out How Can I Apply the Third Side to my Situation?

Mapping the Third Side
To help you identify the Third Side within a conflict, here is an on-line tool to help you map and view possible thirdside positions.
Map the Thirdside

Third Side Inventory
This questionnaire is designed to help prospective thirdsiders determine which thirdside roles are most natural for them. It helps identify where certain skill sets might best aid a thirdside effort.
Download the Third Side Inventory

Third Side Conversation Planning Sheet
This planning sheet will help you prepare for a thirdside conversation. It allows you to step away from the conflict, and gain some perspective before engaging in such a conversation. Please note that this sheet assumes you to be one of the primary parties to the conflict. If you are not, please just substitute one primary party for yourself and look at it as a thirdsider might.
Download the Third Side Conversation Planning Sheet