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The 3rd Alternative: Solving Life's Most Difficult Problems Hardcover – October 4, 2011
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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Bestselling author Stephen Covey introduces a breakthrough approach to conflict resolution and creative problem solving. He moves beyond "my way or your way" by introducing a third option. Through stories and examples, he shows readers how to build strong relationships with diverse individuals based on the notion of winning together.
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The anatomy of "synergy" as suggested by Dr. Covey, lies in the true and meaningful understanding of self, others and then using those insights to reach out and co-create what may not have been possible before. Conflict is inevitable. It is not something that we can escape from. And as much as we can claim that differences are to be celebrated, Dr. Covey provides a very clear analysis that differences can be celebrated only when we take the time and effort to truly and deeply understand each other. He goes further to outline a prescription on how to reach out to each other and create possibilities, effectively giving the term "brainstorming" a new definition.
I found a lot of similarity in the core concepts with those presented in the book "Debunking the Leadership Myth: The Story of Conscious Leadership". In both books, what comes across as a recommendation is NOT to start with our behaviors but our drivers - our belief systems, our attitudes, our very sense of being. It is only when we see ourselves deeply, candidly and acknowledge ourselves fully that we can do the same for others. And those insights are the right foundations for subsequent behaviors which in turn, lead to meaningful outcomes/results.
After laying out the conceptual framework, Dr. Covey narrates multiple applications of the same extending both the theory for specific situations (dealings with business colleagues, dealings with children, spouse, relatives etc) and substantiating the situation specific context with anecdotes. While one can question the anecdotes, the simplicity and the appeal of the synergy framework is undoubted. If I can summarize - the book provides a fairly potent tool in one's journey of mindfulness.