#8 The Third Side of the Coin: Top 10 Healthy Relationship Skills

There is a THIRD SIDE to every story just like there’s a third side to every coin.[1] The Canadian Quarter has a moose on the first flat side and the Queen on the second flat side. I would argue that living according to your values requires looking for the THIRD as much as possible.

And what is that THIRD SIDE of the coin? What is that slender slice of nickel and tin that rushes head first in between the chesterfield[2] cushions and into the slot machines of your local bar?

Why, my friends, the THIRD SIDE is a lovely thing called the Win-Win situation.

Case in Point:

Your director (aka Carolyn Klassen)) wants to have a conversation with you about a complex topic, but you are unprepared to have this conversation. You’re pretty sure if you have the conversation on her timeline, without time to prepare, you will suck.

What are your options?

Queen Side: Be polite. Smile and agree.

Moose Side: Raise your antlers and tell her, “No, that’s not going to work for me.”

Third Side: Tell her sure, you can make that work, but you’d rather have the meeting when you feel better prepared. This is a true combination of both the other sides

And it’s honest to you. This matters.

Now, be prepared to hear a resounding “No” when you try this – directors do like to direct, after all. That’s ok if it still happens on her schedule. That’s their job. And, besides, there’s nothing wrong with people disagreeing with you. I am definitely not saying that you should only think on the THIRD SIDE if you are guaranteed to get your way. I for one don’t expect to get “my way” most of the time. What I do expect is that if I try to collaborate with others, they will be more likely to collaborate with me.

I find that the THIRD SIDE – the Win-Win – is a great tool because it allows us to escape binary thinking. Few things in life are black and white, and you always have options

So, here’s to living on the edge! Let’s leave the crowns to the Queen and the antlers to the moose

[1] Coins: Small round metallic objects that people previously exchanged for Cokes in vending machines. If you want to feel and smell real “coins”, go to Superstore and say, “I need change for the cart” at the Customer Service Desk. This, by the way, is how I plan to put my son through college.
[2] Chesterfield: Old person speak for “sofa” or “couch”. They usually have floral prints, smell vaguely of tobacco and belong in “rumpus rooms” or in front of televisions without remote controls. They were to the living room what my bicycle was to the gravel roadways of my youh.

1 Comment

  • Cheryl Bartell

    Good analogy. Love the definitions at the bottom too!

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