Carie Fox: A former soil scientist and lawyer, I now have a private mediation and facilitation practice based in Portland, Oregon. I specialize in public policy work—usually large, complex, multi-party issues. I also mediate workplace disputes. I have taught a graduate-level class at Portland State University and give workshops around the country on such topics as collaborative negotiation, humor in conflict resolution, and decision science. What gives me pleasure and some measure of success in mediation is the notion that a conflict is its own separate creature, made up of all the force different people invest in it. As a mediator I want to listen to that creature—which really means listening attentively and intelligently to all the people involved, and integrating what I hear. I am convinced that if I listen well it will tell me what it needs. Then I can design a structure that will let the conflict ‘thrive.’ Of course to me what it means for a conflict to thrive is that it leads the parties to create something more wonderful than they had ever imagined possible. And when that happens, the conflict disintegrates or morphs into something less difficult to deal with.