Effectiveness Habit #8: Be Explicitly Win-Win

I had said that there are now three new effectiveness habits to go with the original seven. Here is first of those three, Effectiveness Habit #8: Be Explicitly Win-Win.

Being win-win is a personal commitment to act in a way that is not only laudable, it helps you be very effective. “I Win and you lose” or “I lose and you win” can work but not for very long. Whoever is losing will eventually find a way to actively or passively pull back, resist, delay, or sabotage. Not effective or efficient at all.

“Win-win” is short for “you win and I win otherwise we’ll choose not to play.” If we cannot come up with a solution that works for you and for me–if one of us would lose–we’ll stop.

Here is how to Be Explicitly Win-Win. For every important conversation with anyone who matters to your success,

  1. Overtly state your intent to go for win-win. We regularly misjudge others’ intents and they misjudge ours. So make it very clear. Build the habit to clearly and regularly state that your are committed to win-win-or-don’t-play.
  2. Learn what is a win for the other(s). Even if you tell them you are committed to win-win, people can be initially suspicious. Start, then, by asking about what would make a win for them. What are their interests? What is true now in their life or business and what do they want to be true in the future? Why do they want this? Ignore your and their opinions about how it should be done. Confirm your understanding by telling them what you thought you heard them to mean.
  3. Share what makes a win for you. Tell them what is true now for you, what you want want to be true, and why. (Not how you think it should be done.)
  4. Reaffirm your commitment. Repeat your intent to go for win-win-or-not-play.
  5. Proceed with this agreement in mind. Now continue your work together as you would have before. Keep nearby this new understanding of what makes a win for each other. Work towards mutual wins.


In your corner,


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