Seek 3rd Alternatives


It is a great opportunity to have differing opinions and ideas, but this could be a point of conflict for your team. Even if your team rarely agrees on the same idea, you can seek the 3rd alternative.

The 3rd Alternative is more than just "my way" or "your way," the 3rd Alternative is a higher, better way. It's something that your team wouldn't have come up with as individuals. When we are effective, we strive to create a 3rd Alternative. 

The 3rd Alternative starts with synergy. When your team has synergy, you are willing to communicate and leverage each other’s strengths to create the best possible outcome. Strong team synergy takes time to develop but is reachable for all teams who are willing to work with each other. 

At your next team meeting, try observing with the synergy in mind. Think of a significant problem or opportunity that would benefit from more synergy, and work with your team to seek a 3rd Alternative.

Synergy doesn’t happen on its own. It's a process, and through that process, people bring all their personal experience and expertise to the table. Together, they can produce far better results that they could individually. Synergy lets us discover jointly things we are much less likely to discover by ourselves. It is the idea that the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. One plus one equals three, or six, or sixty--you name it.

Valuing differences is what really drives synergy. Do you truly value the mental, emotional, and psychological differences among people? Or do you wish everyone would just agree with you so you could all get along? Many people mistake uniformity for unity; sameness for oneness. One word--boring! Differences should be seen as strengths, not weaknesses. They add zest to life.

When people begin to interact together genuinely, and they're open to each other's influence, they begin to gain new insight. The capability of inventing new approaches is increased exponentially because of differences.


Unconscious biases are hard to identify, much less know their true impact. Before you can take steps to operate more fairly and effectively at work, you need to get your bearings. Download our latest guide: Seven Misconceptions About Unconscious Bias. 

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