Summary of The 3rd Alternative

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8 Overall

8 Applicability

8 Innovation

7 Style


With more than 25 million copies of his books sold in 38 languages, Stephen R. Covey is one of the world’s most popular authors. This book is an effort to fulfill one of his most ambitious goals: provide a method his readers can use to resolve all their interpersonal problems, no matter how difficult. Covey explains to readers that his “3rd alternative” tactic “may be the greatest discovery of their lives.” His basic idea is that everyone deserves respect, including people with whom you disagree vehemently. He urges you to try to regard an opponent with this thought: “If a person of your intelligence and competence and commitment disagrees with me, then there must be something to your disagreement that I don’t understand, and I need to understand it.” This may not always be practical. Some people don’t want a meeting of the minds. Still, Covey has been right before, and getAbstract welcomes his suggestion of a better way to find agreement.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why “2-alternative” thinking doesn’t solve conflicts,
  • Why the “3rd alternative” is an effective way to solve problems and disagreements,
  • What mind-set the third alternative requires, and
  • Why you should use it.

About the Author

Stephen R. Covey is the author of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and other best-selling books that have sold more than 25 million copies in 38 languages.



A World of Problems
Problems are everywhere – in relationships, in the family, at work, in local and national government, and in discourse among nations. Most people have no workable solutions to their conflicts and problems. Many folks resign themselves to soldiering on wearily, their...

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