We had an interesting discussion with one of our clients about the barriers to establish real win-win relationships.
What is “thinking win-win”?
Thinking “win-win” means that I consider other people’s win equally important as mine. In fact thinking win-win also means I actively work on creating win for others, not only for myself. In order to establish long-term, mutually beneficial coopeations you need to think win-win.
I can think in “win-lose” when I believe that in order for me to win the other person should necessarily lose. This can indeed lead to short term wins but in long term relationships it makes the other person look for his win over me. It can work against an effective collaboration.
There are people who think “lose-win” frequently, giving up their goal in order to save themselves from confrontation or maintain a good relationship.
In “lose-lose” situations neither of us achieves the goal, in fact typically we both loses something valuable.
We also meet regularly the thinking of “win” when your win does not bother me as long as I get mine. Many people who truly believe they think “win-win” think really just “win”. They do not do anything actively to secure the other party’s win focusing only on their own wins.
How is win-win different from this?
In win-win I take responsibility for our mutual wins. It’s equally important for me the other party’s win since only when she wins she will be motivated to collaborate, play or have a business with me. With colleagues, key clients or even supplies we cannot have long term effective relationship without win-win thinking.
The highest level of the win-win thinking is when I only start or continue a collaboration with you when we both clearly see the win for both of us. This is the “win-win or no deal” thinking.
There are situations in life when me winning leads to other people’s lose, like competitive sports. But even here there are situations of win-win: like honoring the rules of the game or fair play.
What do you need to be able think win-win?
It’s about the balance of Courage and Consideration.
Courage is needed to express and stand by my needs. To openly clearly talk about what do I need in order for me to create a “win”.
Consideration is needed to be able to listen and truly understand the needs of others. To have patience to hear out other people’s needs in order to create “his win”. One important factor here is that I do not feel my needs being threatened by the fact that others have different needs than myself.
Those with stronger courage can easily express their own needs but have hard time to listed on the others’. They can come across as don’t care, even when they aim to collaborate. In order to establish long term relationships they need to strengthen their consideration “muscle”, learn ways to truly understand others.
For those with stronger consideration collaboration starts with understanding other people’s needs. At the same time they frequently struggle with expressing their own needs, they fear rejection. Then they sometimes feel they are losing. What they need is strenghtening courage: their ability to express and stand by their own needs.
What is stronger in you: courage or consideration? How does it impact your long term collaborations?
Reach out to us to help you to build your courage or collaboration muslce and establish effective long term relationships.