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Think Win-Win

Habit 4

Win/Win is one of six total philosophies of human interaction.

  1. Win/Win - People can seek mutual benefit in all human interactions. Principle-based behavior.
  2. Win/Lose - The competitive paradigm: if I win, you lose. The leadership style is authoritarian. In relationships, if both people aren't winning, both are losing.
  3. Lose/Win - The "Doormat" paradigm. The individual seeks strength from popularity based on acceptance. The leadership style is permissiveness. Living this paradigm can result in psychosomatic illness from repressed resentment.
  4. Lose/Lose - When people become obsessed with making the other person lose, even at their own expense. This is the philosophy of adversarial conflict, war, or of highly dependent persons. (If nobody wins, being a loser isn't so bad.)
  5. Win - Focusing solely on getting what one wants, regardless of the needs of others.
  6. Win/Win or No Deal - If we can't find a mutually beneficial solution, we agree to disagree agreeably - no deal. This approach is most realistic at the beginning of a business relationship or enterprise. In a continuing relationship, it's no longer an option.

The most appropriate model depends on the situation. When relationships are paramount, Win/Win is the only viable alternative. In a competitive situation where building a relationship isn't important, Win/Lose may be appropriate. There are five dimensions of the Win/Win model: Character, Relationships, Agreements, Supportive Systems and Processes.

  1. Character is the foundation of Win/Win. There must be integrity in order to establish trust in the relationship and to define a win in terms of personal values. A key trait is the abundance mentality that there is plenty for everybody (v. the Scarcity Mentality). The abundance mentality flows from a deep inner sense of personal worth and security.
  2. Relationships are the focus on Win/Win. Whatever the orientation of the person you are dealing with (Win/Lose, etc.), the relationship is the key to turning the situation around. When there is a relationship of trust and emotional bank account balances are high, there is a much greater probability of a successful, productive interaction. Negative energy focused on differences in personality or position is eliminated; positive, cooperative energy focused on understanding and resolving issues is built.
  3. Performance agreements or partnership agreements give definition and direction to Win/Win,. They shift the paradigm of production from vertical (Superior - Subordinate) to horizontal (Partnership/Team). The agreement should include elements to create a standard by which people can measure their own success.
    1. Defined results (not methods) - what is to be done and when.
    2. Guidelines - the parameters within which the results should be accomplished
    3. Resources - human, financial, technical or organizational support available to accomplish the results.
    4. Accountability - the standards of performance and time(s) of evaluation.
    5. Consequences - what will happen as a result of the evaluation.

The agreement may be written by the employee to the manager to confirm the understanding.

Developing Win/Win performance agreements is the central activity of management, enabling employers to manage themselves within the framework of the agreement. Then the manager can initiate action and resolve obstacles so employees can do their jobs.

There are four kinds of consequences that management or parents can control - Financial, Psychic, Opportunity and Responsibility. In addition to personal consequences, the organizational consequences of behaviors should be identified.

  1. The Reward System is a key element in the Win/Win model. Talking Win/Win but rewarding Win/Lose results in negating the Win/Win paradigm. If the outstanding performance of a few is rewarded, the other team members will be losers. Instead, develop individual achievable goals and team objectives to be rewarded.
  2. Competition has its place against market competitors, last year's performance, or another location or individual where cooperation and interdependence aren't required, but cooperation in the workplace is as important to free enterprise as competition in the marketplace. The spirit of Win/Win cannot survive in an environment of competition or contests. All of the company's systems should be based on the principle of Win/Win. The Compensation system of the managers should be based on the productivity and development of their people. Reward both P (production) and PC (building production capacity).

  3. The Win/Win process has four steps.
    1. See the problem from the other point of view, in terms of the needs and concerns of the other party.
    2. Identify the key issues and concerns (not positions) involved.
    3. Determine what results would make a fully acceptable solution.
    4. Identify new options to achieve those results.

You can only achieve Win/Win solutions with Win/Win procedures. Win/Win is not a personality technique. It's a total paradigm of human interaction.

For our new reviews of business and self-improvement books, subscribe to our newsletter, Michael Gray, CPA's Tax & Business Insight!

Win/Win is one of six total philosophies of human interaction. The most appropriate model depends on the situation. When relationships are paramount, Win/Win is the only viable alternative.


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Michael Gray, CPA
2190 Stokes St., Suite 102
San Jose, California 95128
(408) 918-3162
Fax (408) 998-2766
email: info@profitadvisors.com
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