WILLIAM URY: THE WALK FROM «NO» TO «YES» (00:00 – 07:53)

William Ury is a mediator, writer and speaker, working with conflicts ranging from family feuds to boardroom battles to ethnic wars.

Before you watch

1. Answer the question:

When do parties to the conflict usually resort to a mediator?

2. Study the vocabulary notes:

propensity for  — tendency to a particular kind of behavior

While you watch

William Ury tells three stories in his talk. Give the gist of the stories and say what idea each of them illustrates. You may want to use the expressions in brackets to give a more extended answer.

Idea Story
(to look at the situation through fresh eyes, not all peace
and light, human propensity for conflict)  
(the surrounding community around a conflict, to play
a constructive role, to lose perspective)  
(to feel personally involved in the story, to have
a personal stake in the story)  

After you watch

Discuss the following:

In pairs, discuss how the third side can help solve a conflict. Is it only professional mediators that can settle a conflict? Can ordinary people contribute to its peaceful settlement? Do ordinary people usually play a constructive or rather a destructive role in conflicts (ethnic, international, political, etc.). Think of the examples to illustrate your position.

to look at the situation through fresh eyes

human propensity for conflict

human genius at devising weapons of enormous destruction

the surrounding community around a conflict

to be involved as a facilitator in tough talks

to feel personally involved in the story

to have a personal stake in the story