The Third Side

The Mandt System teaches strategies for resolving conflict utilizing positive behavior interventions and supports within the framework of a trauma informed workplace culture.  Conflict is best resolved within the context of healthy workplace environments.  For this to occur, solid conflict resolution tools based on sound cognitive and behavioral science must be utilized to both resolve conflicts and reinforce the development of healthy relationships. Rather than just resolve conflict, an organization should also seek to develop a culture that values healthy relationships and fair dispute resolution processes.  This type of organizational context makes it easier for conflicted parties to “trust the process” and engage in productive discourse about their grievances.  

William Ury, an internationally known expert in mediation and negotiation, has often described the context surrounding a conflict as “the third side” (Ury, 2000).  It’s easy to see two sides in any conflict.  However, there is also a third side.  This other side is the context that conflict exists within. This includes all of the people surrounding the conflicted party.  If an organization has a toxic workplace culture, conflict will often be resolved in a way that damages relationships.  Toxicity anywhere with a system has the potential to impact everywhere within the same system.  However, if the organizational culture surrounding the conflicted parties is truly vested in the concept of positive conflict resolution, conflicted parties will take influence from their surrounding workplace culture and are much more likely to resolve conflict in a productive manner. 

John Windsor – Director of Technical Curricula

Ury, W. (2000). The third side: Why we fight and how we can stop.  Penguin Books.  

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