3S Skills – See from the Thirdside

To gain perspective and see from the Third Side you need to Go to the Balcony. The Balcony is a mental place of calm and perspective where you can keep your eyes on what is truly important. Imagine that the conflict is happening on a stage and you are on the balcony overlooking the stage. Going to the balcony means taking a distanced view of close things. What do you see from up there? How does that alter your perspective?

Going to the Balcony allows you to speak and listen with a measure of detachment. It permits you to be open to new ideas and possibilities. Improving your ability to go to the balcony can have a positive impact on conflicts around you. Sometimes the simple act of witnessing a conflict, paying respectful attention to the parties and what they are saying, can shift the outcome.

There are three simple steps for Going to the Balcony : Stop – Look – Listen.


  • Take time to prepare
  • Take a time out
  • Count to 10
  • Take a deep breath
  • Remember “Everything starts by stopping”


  • Look inside yourself – look at your natural reaction to take sides, ignore and escape.
  • Name your emotions. Have your emotions (rather than be them).


  • Hear your feelings out so you don’t have to act them out
  • Listen to understand
  • Use a friend or colleague as your ‘balcony’

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