Organizational Relationship Systems Coaching (ORSC), a pioneering model in the field of coaching, offers an array of tools designed to improve team dynamics and communication within organizations. Among these, the Third Entity tool is a remarkably effective method for addressing and resolving conflicts, enhancing collaboration, and fostering a more profound understanding among team members.

Understanding the Third Entity Concept

The Third Entity concept in ORSC is based on the idea that every relationship or team has its own unique identity and wisdom, often referred to as the 'Third Entity.' This entity is distinct from the individual members and holds the collective qualities, norms, values, and aspirations of the group. Recognizing this Third Entity helps teams to externalize issues and view them from a new, more objective perspective.

Application of the Third Entity Tool

1. Identifying the Third Entity:

Teams begin by characterizing their Third Entity, acknowledging its qualities, strengths, and weaknesses. This exercise allows team members to step back from personal viewpoints and consider the team's collective needs and goals.

2. Externalizing Challenges:

By attributing challenges to the Third Entity, teams can depersonalize conflicts and focus on solutions that benefit the collective. This approach reduces blame and fosters a more collaborative environment.

3. Leveraging Collective Wisdom:

The tool encourages teams to tap into the collective wisdom of the Third Entity, leading to more innovative and comprehensive solutions than any individual could conceive alone.

4. Enhancing Communication:

Discussing issues related to the Third Entity improves communication clarity and effectiveness, shifting the focus from individual perspectives to a shared understanding.

Benefits of the Third Entity Tool

  • Reduces Conflict: The tool minimizes emotional reactions and promotes rational, constructive discussions by depersonalizing issues.
  • Boosts Collaboration: Recognizing a common identity fosters a sense of unity and shared purpose, enhancing teamwork and cooperation.
  • Encourages Inclusivity: This approach ensures that all voices are heard and valued, aligning with DEIJ principles.
  • Promotes Creative Solutions: Leveraging collective wisdom leads to more innovative and effective problem-solving.

Implementing the Third Person Tool

To successfully implement this tool, organizations should:

  • Facilitate Open Discussions: Create a safe space for open and honest communication.
  • Encourage Empathy and Understanding: Foster an environment where team members seek to understand and appreciate the collective identity.
  • Regularly Reflect on the Third Entity: Make discussions about the Third Entity a regular part of team meetings.

The Third Person tool in ORSC is a powerful technique for enhancing team dynamics, resolving conflicts, and promoting effective communication. By focusing on the collective identity and wisdom of the team, organizations can achieve greater harmony, innovation, and productivity. This approach aligns seamlessly with justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion principles, making it an essential strategy for modern, forward-thinking organizations.


Creating Intelligent Teams: Leading with Relationship Systems Intelligence - by Marita Fridjhon and Faith Fuller. This book offers a comprehensive introduction to the concepts underlying ORSC, including the Third Entity, and provides practical tools for implementation.

Systems Thinking for Social Change: A Practical Guide to Solving Complex Problems, Avoiding Unintended Consequences, and Achieving Lasting Results by David Peter Stroh. While not specific to ORSC, this book delves into systems thinking, a key component of understanding and working with the Third Entity.