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The Third Side: Why We Fight and How We Can Stop Paperback – September 1, 2000

4.1 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A radically simple solution for conflicts ranging from family squabbles to international disputes".

-- Boston Sunday Herald

From the Back Cover

An acclaimed negotiation expert and bestselling author asks:

ARE WE DOOMED TO FIGHT?

According to William Ury, it takes two sides to fight, but a third to stop. Distilling the lessons of two decades of experience in family struggles, labor strikes, and wars, he presents a bold new strategy for stopping fights. He describes ten practical roles each of us can play every day as Third Siders to prevent destructive conflict, including teacher, healer, witness, and mediator.

Fighting isn't an inevitable part of human nature, Ury explains, drawing on his training as an anthropologist and his work among primitive tribes and modern-day corporations. We have a powerful alternative -- the Third Side -- which can transform our daily battles into creative conflict and cooperation at home, at work, and in the world.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; Rev Upd edition (September 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140296344
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140296341
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,816 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In the early 80's Ury's book "Getting to Yes" summarized in an easy to understand format the academic concepts of integrative negotiation developed by social scientists in the previous decades. His 1988 book "Getting Disputes Resolved" did the same for dispute resolution in organizations. His latest book (Getting to Peace, aka The Third Side ) takes a step forward by including the field of peace studies and non-violence. For Ury, and for all of us, this has been a journey into the real roots of conflict: unsatisfied basic human needs. Ury says "Whatever the surface issues in dispute, the underlying cause of conflict usually lies in the deprivation of basic human needs like love and respect". YES! Integrative negotiation works because its strategies address basic human needs such as respect and inclusion. In this book Ury makes a compelling historical case for humans as "negotiator-apes" challenging the widely popular perception of humans as killer apes. Ury concludes that war is not intrinsic to humanity but a characteristic of a period of our history (the last ten thousand years, or 1%) in which fixed-pie resources and security concerns created a vicious circle of ever escalating wars and violence. And he goes further by hypothesizing that that period is ending with the arrival of the knowledge-age in the last 300 years. The good news is: humankind can address all the conflicts created by injustice and inequality without going to destructive wars if we realize that our destiny is linked and that the satisfaction of our needs DEPENDS in the long term on the satisfaction of the other's need! Gandhi would agree. We have done it before, we can do it again!
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Format: Paperback
This is *the* definitive book on conflict management by the uber-guru of negotiation and mediation. Ury has mediated in the Middle East, the Balkans, N. Ireland and many other places.

Fighting is natural and human, and is the ultimate approach. But it is destructive and win-lose at best. Revenge and feuding turns it into lose-lose. Ury points out how the win-lose of the agrarian society is giving way to both-win or both-lose of the knowledge society as hierarchical control is being fractured by knowledge networks.

The 'third side' is the person on the sidelines in a conflict who wants to help. Third-siders can be neighbors, neutrals, bystanders, family, friends. Event the warring parties themselves can take the third side. This book describe ten roles that this person can take.

Their goal is always to prevent conflict before it happens. Even the presence of a third person will calm conflict, but doing nothing does not optimize the help they can give.

Three strategies (and roles within each) are offered to manage increasing levels of conflict:

* Prevent (Provider, Teacher, Bridge-builder)

* Resolve (Mediator, Arbiter, Equalizer, Healer)

* Contain (Witness, Referee, Peacekeeper)

They are:

1. Provider: When there is conflict is often over scarce resources the Provider finds ways for both sides to get what they need, even deep needs such as love, safety and esteem. They can also provide knowledge to enable intelligent decisions.

2. Teacher: People often fight because they know of no other way to resolve their differences. The Teacher shows them how to handle conflict without resorting to violence and arms.

3.
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Format: Paperback
An acclaimed negotiator and author of previous best sellers, "Getting to Yes" and "Getting Past No", William Ury first titled this book, "Getting to Peace". He later reverted to the original working title in order to de-emphasize the focus on global conflict, as he is a recognized world expert in peacekeeping negotiations. Instead he deals with conflict at all levels, from the family to the workplace and from the community to the world.

This is a 251-page paperback, written by an anthropologist who is concerned for his own human tribe, as he explores the reasons we are in conflict and sets forward a roadmap to resolution. In the first of three parts to the book, Ury describes the Third Side as the inside and outside factors to a dispute between two sides and explores the potential in recognizing its existence. Essentially, the Third Side is the neutral third party to such conflict.

In the fascinating second part, he examines the concept of fighting as an element of human nature from an archeological standpoint and points out that there was little organized violence in the first 99% of human history. As we moved from a society of hunters and gatherers to an agricultural and then an industrial society, the expandable pie became fixed and the potential for conflict increased. The recent technological change to a society based on knowledge has the potential for re-expanding the pie and allows for coexistence rather than coercion.

In the third segment, the author offers some solutions to prevent, resolve and contain conflict before it escalates to violent outcomes. He suggests that potential "third-siders" can transform conflict by assuming roles based on ten reasons for the escalation of disputes.
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