Alexandra post

A situation when I utilized informal third party intervention was when I was about 11 years old and I was getting bullied online by an unknown user. This person kept messaging me, calling me names, and would tell me that he was watching me by throwing my family members’ and friends’ names into conversations as well as mentioning things that he has seen me do. It began to freak me out so I told my father about it knowing that he would get involved and help me put a stop to this. This was very successful in resolving the conflict because luckily my dad worked in the computer business so he was able to track where the username was coming from. My dad was able to find out who it was that was harassing me online and it turned out to be a boy I went to school with at the time. My dad went to the boys house and spoke to his parents, just for us to find out that it was a friend of the boy whose username was being used. After confronting all parties involved, it all stopped. The only message I got after that was an apology and then everything was smooth from there.


The criteria I would use to choose which form of third party intervention is best would be based off of the relationship of the parties in conflict. If it is friends or family and the conflict is not related to any legal issues or large money problems, then it is most likely smarter to use an informal third party. Each situation varies based on who specifically you would use, but it is always best to choose someone who is not bias towards either side. If a formal third party intervention is necessary, the form of intervention would be based off of the severity of the conflict and what would help best- such as therapy, coaching, the judicial system, etc…

A conflict example that would benefit from third party intervention is one where two siblings both need their father’s car on the same evening. Many times with siblings there is no compromise, it is either win or lose. In this situation, the conflict would benefit most from the arbitration form of third party intervention. Arbitration is when an expert decides what the outcome is going to be (Wilmot & Hocker, 2013); in this conflict the arbitrator would be the father because it is his car so he will decide who uses it. The advantages of this are that it is that it is the most fair way of solving the conflict. Neither of the siblings can get mad at each other for the outcome and more often than not the father will find a way to make both siblings satisfied- a way that the two could not see for themselves. The disadvantages of this are that one or both of the siblings might end up being mad at their father. If the conflict gets out of hand then most likely neither of them would get their way, causing the biggest disadvantage to be that everybody ends up unhappy.

Armond post


Theorists have also identified additional forms of third-party intervention designed to complement negotiation that are distinguished primarily by the degree of power that the intervene exercises over the process and outcome of the conflict. This continuum of power is characterized not only by a varying capacity to influence, but also by a noteworthy shift in the type of power exercised. Thus, more traditional, coercive methods such as arbitration engage influence and control as “power over”, while more recent innovative methods such as problem solving workshops (PSWs) seek to engage and induce “power with”, to draw on a useful distinction identified by Mary Parker Follett (1924/1942) and evident in feminist literature (Taylor/Miller 1994).

At my job I work with 2 other Assistant Directors and we have to work together as a team to ensure that the hospital is taken care of on a daily basis. There are many times when we have issues that are ongoing where when only two of us is trying to figure it out, its just not enough. Having a third party involved helps bring new ideas to the table and helps us complete our job more efficiently. I would use Mediation as my type of intervention. Mediation is a pacific, non-coercive and non-binding approach to conflict management that is entered into freely by the concerned parties, who at the same time maintain control over the substance of the agreement. I think the advantage is that you can get an input of every person’s opinion and idea on the conflict at hand. The disadvantage would probably that we may not like each other’s ideas and create more conflict based on the information presented by each party.