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For the midterm, I would like you to create a document that draws from your own personal experience with conflict situations, and write about how the conflict would look from the perspective of both disputing parties as well as the mediator. I want you to pick a conflict from your workplace, from your community, or from your personal life that either you were yourself involved with, or at least know enough about the situation to describe it. Then I want you to think about how the conflict could be mediated. If this conflict has been resolved, you can script its resolution, or if you would have liked to see it resolved differently or if it did not reach resolution, narrate a solution that you would have liked to see. I realize that some of the information in the midterm will therefore have to be embellished or fabricated. Write your midterm describing the following:


  1. Provide a brief overview of the conflict you will be mediating.


  1. What kind of preliminary arrangements would you make as a mediator to ensure a resolution to the dispute (where would the mediation be held, what parties would constitute the disputants in this case, how would you arrange the room, what kind of schedule would you keep to, etc.)?


  1. As a mediator, what kind of preliminary/introductory statement would you prepare to set the stage/context for the mediation process (feel free to use the one I handed out in class as a guide, but do NOT just repeat it–develop your own using your style, tone, emphases, etc.)?


  1. What might be the initial statements made by each of the parties? Get into their heads as you describe the dispute from the viewpoint of each disputant. You may either narrate what the two disputants would say in their initial statements and in the negotiation process, or you may script the whole interaction between the disputants and the mediator. Either method is acceptable.


  1. Describe as part of the negotiation/problem-solving process the following issues:


  • How might the mediator separate the positions taken by the disputants in their initial statements, from the underlying interests of the parties? What kind of questions could you as a mediator ask to get at root interests?
  • What “mutually acceptable standards” you could raise as the mediator to help the disputants move from blaming each other, to assessing the information provided by “objective” or “expert” outsiders?
  • What might be the BATNAs of each of the parties (i.e., Best Alternatives to a Negotiated Agreement)
  • Brainstorm possible creative/innovative, yet mutually acceptable, solutions


  1. Write up a possible written agreement that would be acceptable to both parties. Make sure you include specific steps to be taken by each party, timetables, and possible recourse if either party does not live up to their end of the bargain.


  1. Finally, address the issues of power. In the dispute that you have written about, did the parties have equal status/power at the negotiation table? If not, how might that have affected the outcome of the mediation process? What, if anything, can a mediator do to compensate for the unequal power positions of two disputants?


  1. Provide a Bibliography for your midterm exam if you utilize or reference sources related to mediation/conflict resolution or the issue you are analyzing.