List the skills you have that help you serve as a third party to others. What skills do you lack at this point?
Basically, communication skills help me to serve as a third party to others. Well-developed communication skills contribute to the improvement of the effective interpersonal relations and prevent interpersonal conflicts. On the other hand, I have to develop my organizational skills because often I face a problem of the proper organization of my relationships with other people, when I fail to arrive in time, for instance, other people become uncertain in my reliability. They cannot rely on me and, therefore, in spite of my communication skills, it is sometimes difficult for me to become a third party.
Discuss times you have effectively helped others.
Nevertheless, I have managed to help other people several times. I cannot tell that I am always successful in preventing or resolving conflicts between people, I still reach positive outcomes from time to time (Frosh, 1991). To put it more precisely, I have managed to prevent the conflict between two friends of mine. They had a dispute on some political issue and they were about to quarrel, when I interfered into the situation and encouraged them to discuss the issue and to state clearly their positions. After that, I encouraged them to list their arguments and evaluate them carefully. On discussing both positions and their arguments, we came together to a consensus and my friends eventually came to agreement on the issue, which they discussed and which almost provoked a conflict between them.
List the times you have tried to help others and your efforts backfired.
However, sometimes, when I attempted to prevent a conflict between individuals all my efforts confronted the backfire from the part of the individuals I attempted to appease. For instance, when I was in a traffic jam, I witnessed a car accident. Although the damages to both cars were insignificant, just a couple of scratches, one of the drivers grew furious about the accident and was about to attack another driver. As I saw it, I attempted to interfere, but as I attempted to stop the aggressive driver, he shouted at me and started to threaten me. Nevertheless, I stayed cool and attempted to persuade him to be reasonable but he ignored me and grew even angrier. I understood that my tactics of the conflict management has failed because it was driven by mere emotions and desire to stop the conflict immideately.
How did the parties ask, directly or indirectly, for help?
As I attempted to resolve conflicts, I often was engaged in the resolution of the conflict, when either party asked me to assist to find a solution of the conflict. For instance, when I helped to resolve conflicts between my friends, some of them asked me to help them to negotiate with other friend or friends of us and to negotiate and to prevent the conflict. At the same time, some friends of mine were embarrassed to ask me for help and they were just telling me about their problems and I interfered into the conflict and attempted to negotiate the problem to resolve the conflict (Zimbardo, et al, 2005).
What role did you negotiate ahead of time?
I tend to take an arbitrary position and to take into consideration the position of both parties involved in conflicts. In such a way, I can find the solution to the conflict.
To whom were you closest? Whom did you know the best?
Basically, I knew pretty well my friends, their interests and needs. Therefore, when I was involved in the conflict between them as the third party, I was conscious of their expectations, their strengths and weaknesses. As a result, I have managed to help my friends to negotiate and resolve the conflict.
What process did they agree to before you intervened?
Before I intervened my friends agreed that they need to solve the problem objectively. They came to the point, when they needed a third party to make objective judgments concerning the position of either party (Armesto, 2005). In such a way, they agreed to resolve the conflict through the involvement of the third party.
How could you tell that your “help” was actually making things worse?
However, when I just attempted to interfere, my friends were skeptic about my ability to resolve the conflict because they knew that I am not proficient in political issues and they believed I am incompetent.
What did you learn from those experiences about serving as an informal third party?
Nevertheless, my experience proved to be helpful for the development of my conflict management skills. I learned that conflicts are difficult to resolve.
Armesto, F. F. 2005. The World History. Vol. 1. New York: Allyson and Bacon.
Elliot, A. 1992. Social Theory and Psychoanalysis in Transition: Self and Society. New York: Allyson and Bacon.
Frosh, S. 1991 Identity Crisis, Modernity: Psychoanalysis and the Self. Boston: St. Martin Press.
Harvey, D. 1995. The condition of Post Modernity New York: Routledge.
Zimbardo, L.J. et al. 2005. Psychology: Key Concepts. New York: Allyson and Bacon.