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Working Together

Tips & Advice


To provide affordable and accessible alternative dispute resolution services.

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Mediation & Conflict Solutions (MCS) is a valuable community resource if you have a problem you can't solve on your own. Before you reach out to us, you may want to try resolving the situation yourself using these tips.


Think of a constructive way to deal with the situation before you speak.

  1. Both people agree to some ground rules:

    • Do not interrupt.

    • Use "I" messages.

    • Avoid name calling or insults.

    • Speak only for yourself, not for anyone else.

  2. The first person tells her or his view of the situation.

  3. The second person restates what the first person said before stating his or her view of
    the situation.

  4. Steps 2 and 3 are repeated with a restatement of the other person's view before adding information of your own.

  5. Both people suggest possible solutions. All ideas are written down.

  6. Both people agree on a solution from the list.


An "I" message has four parts.

  1. "I feel..." (state the feeling)

  2. "when you..." (describe the other person's behavior)

  3. "because..." (describe the results of that behavior)

  4. "I want..." (state what would correct the situation for you)


How to listen actively:

  1. Clarify: Get more information, ask questions. For example: "So, are you saying that you felt angry when I did that?"

  2. Restate: Say in your own words what you heard the other person say, including their feelings. For example: "What I hear you saying is that you didn't like it when I took the car without permission and that you were worried about me. Is that correct?"

  3. Encourage: Use neutral, non-threatening words to help the other person say more about the situation and how they feel. For example: "Could you tell me more about that?"

Steps to Resolve a Conflict

If you've tried these tips and haven't resolved your situation,
learn more about our services or contact us.
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