From the multimillion-copy bestselling author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People—hailed as the #1 Most Influential Business Book of the Twentieth Century—The 3rd Alternative turns Dr. Stephen R. Covey’s formidable insight to a powerful new way to resolve professional and personal difficulties and create solutions to great challenges in organizations and society.
There are many methods of “conflict resolution,” but most involve compromise, a low-level accommodation that stops the fight without breaking through to amazing new results. The 3rd Alternative introduces a breakthrough approach to conflict resolution and creative problem solving, transcending traditional solutions to conflict by forging a path toward a third option, a 3rd Alternative that moves beyond your way or my way to a higher and better way—one that allows both parties to emerge from debate or even heated conflict in a far better place than either had envisioned. With the 3rd Alternative, nobody has to give up anything, and everyone wins.
Rather than my way or your way, Covey (The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) argues for a third way around any given situation. "The 3rd alternative" is conflict resolution technique that can "apply equally well to a playground, a battlefield, a boardroom, a legislative chamber, or a family kitchen." It isn't compromise per se, Covey says, since everyone loses something by compromising. Instead, the 3rd alternative offers a significantly better answer synergy, i.e. "what happens when one plus one equals ten or a hundred or even a thousand!" Synergy can and has been used in the past at work and at home, in classrooms, cities, and the world at large. Covey describes, for example, the collaboration in recent decades among activists, politicians, property owners, and city planners to rejuvenate New York's Times Square. While synergy may not be an entirely new concept, the enthusiasm and urgency with which Covey introduces and explains it gives this volume its substance.