As the saying goes, there are two sides to every story.
There’s my side, and then there’s yours.
The problem is we often see this as win-lose. Someone is right and someone is wrong.
The Third Side
There is an alternative. The side that doesn’t come with hidden agendas. The side that creates the most value.
Sometimes the third side will fall in the middle, but it often falls outside of what I and you think.
It’s a leader’s job to find this.
You need the humility to put aside your side. You need to listen closely. You need to have enough respect and trust built up for others to listen to you.
You need to care enough to asks hard questions and think creatively. You need the awareness to see the third side, and then you need the confidence and conviction pick it.
The third side is the hardest side to find, but it’s often the best.
Note: I was inspired to write this post by this conversation between Chris Brogan and Alan Ali. It’s because of something Alan said near the end.