Feb 8, 2012

The 3rd Alternative: Worth a Shot

In his new book, "The 3rd Alternative", Stephen Covey explains the paradigms and processes necessary for resolving conflict. 

Being involved in a lawsuit at this time, I'll admit being a bit skeptical about the probability of success.  I suppose my skepticism is already part of a flawed paradigm.  So, why even try?

There's a saying that goes, "you can't make a good deal with a bad partner."  I would agree.

Another one of Covey's principles from 7 Habits which I fully believe is that it takes 2 independent people to be in an interdependent relationship.  If you're dealing with a fragmented person, which frankly is what we're dealing with here - how do you create a 3rd alternative solution - a win-win solution - an interdependent solution - with a fragmented and shifty person?

The evidence, the law, the contracts, - everything is in our favor on this case.  We have a right to claim what's due under the demands of just laws and binding contracts.

But, the whole premise behind the 3rd Alternative mindset is that there is in fact a 3rd alternative out there somewhere that's better for both parties, so long as the 2 opposing parties work together to try to create this 3rd Alternative.

And so, I figured it's worth a shot.

I called and left a message to the defendant in the case, basically stating the following script as outlined in the book:

"Hi ________, this is Brig.  Hey I've been thinking about this book I've been reading called The 3rd Alternative, and I wanted to see if you would be interested in sitting down and discussing a possible solution that's better than either one of could have come up with on our own.  The premise behind this book is that there is in fact some 3rd alternative solution out there that's actually better for both of us.  I'm not sure what it will look like, and I frankly don't have any ideas just yet.  But rather than beating our heads against one another, perhaps we can think of something together that would give us what we both want.  I want to see you and the company succeed.  I also feel I've been wronged and that our case is pretty solid in that we're owed what was agreed upon and we're entitled to be paid.  But I'm willing to give this a shot if you're interested in having a discussion.  If you're more comfortable having your attorney present, that's fine too.  If you're interested, you have my number.  I look forward to hopefully connecting with you and talking soon."

I haven't heard anything back, but I'm hopeful we can at least make the attempt.

Should anything come of it, good or bad, I'll be sure to keep you updated.

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