The 3rd Alternative: Solving Life's Most Difficult Problems

Stephen R. Covey, Author
Stephen R. Covey. Free Press, $28 (352p) ISBN 978-1-4516-2626-1
Hardcover - 567 pages - 978-4-86394-018-5
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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. (Oct.)
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