Monday, January 17, 2011

Think Win-Win

One of the most life-changing attitudes we can adopt is the attitude of "Think Win-Win".

Stephen R. Covey explains, in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, that we are programmed into "win-lose" thinking from childhood.  In almost every game we played there was a "winner" and a "loser"; in how we were recognized in class, and in sports.

This has it's benefits, as we should learn to strive to achieve; be successful in what we are pursuing; and to make the most of what we have been given in terms of talents, skills, resources and ability.  But what if we could do all that, and still help others achieve along with us as we go? How different might our lives and relationships be?

The idea of "win-win" implies that, as we negotiate and work to achieve solutions and outcomes for ourselves, day-in and day-out, that we keep the attitude to achieve what we hope to achieve, while at the same time helping others to achieve what they hope to achieve, or at least gain some benefit while we achieve our own objectives.

Okay. That was my very in-articulate way of trying to explain win-win. Stephen R. Covey explains it much better here...
"Think Win-Win isn't about being nice, nor is it a quick-fix technique. It is a character-based code for human interaction and collaboration.

Most of us learn to base our self-worth on comparisons and competition. We think about succeeding in terms of someone else failing--that is, if I win, you lose; or if you win, I lose. Life becomes a zero-sum game. There is only so much pie to go around, and if you get a big piece, there is less for me; it's not fair, and I'm going to make sure you don't get anymore. We all play the game, but how much fun is it really?

Win-win sees life as a cooperative arena, not a competitive one. Win-win is a frame of mind and heart that constantly seeks mutual benefit in all human interactions. Win-win means agreements or solutions are mutually beneficial and satisfying. We both get to eat the pie, and it tastes pretty darn good!

A person or organization that approaches conflicts with a win-win attitude possesses three vital character traits:

1.    Integrity: sticking with your true feelings, values, and commitments
2.    Maturity: expressing your ideas and feelings with courage and consideration for the ideas and feelings of others
3.    Abundance Mentality: believing there is plenty for everyone

Many people think in terms of either/or: either you're nice or you're tough. Win-win requires that you be both. It is a balancing act between courage and consideration. To go for win-win, you not only have to be empathic, but you also have to be confident. You not only have to be considerate and sensitive, you also have to be brave. To do that--to achieve that balance between courage and consideration--is the essence of real maturity and is fundamental to win-win.""

Thank you for reading this posting.  I hope this idea of "Think Win-Win" helps you achieve better results, and better relationships, for yourself and those around you.

Please join me next Monday as I explore the life-changing concept of  "Abundance Mentality", that Stephen R. Covey mentioned above, in more detail.

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