Win-win is one of the four major ingredients of success for whatever success you want.
“Win-win” is shorthand for “win-win-or-don’t-play.” Or, “Let’s agree to find a way that you and I both feel good about. Chances are great that the solutions we create together will be better than anything either of us could have come up with on our own. If we find that way, we will see many returns on our investment in this approach. If we can’t find that way, then we will agree not to play. We know that one of us losing and the other winning will become eventually losses of time, energy, money, and/or opportunity for both of us.”
Despite how great it sounds, we have reservations about win-win. We sometimes avoid using it because we think it will take too long. Or we think that we will be stuck in a lowest-common-denominator, less-than-optimal agreement.
The thing is that either of those cases would be a “lose” and would trigger the “or don’t play” clause. So go for win-win.
In your corner,
PS: Q: What about competition? How can you have a vibrant market place or interesting sports league if everybody wins? A: You can even use win-win with your competitors in the market or on the field. The “wins” are broader.