Win-Win in Four Easy Steps


You can successfully make the sale, convince the boss, enroll the colleague, receive the investment, get the grant, land the job, get the nod, convince your friend, influence your child, or choose with your partner a place to go on vacation. To do any of these things you simply conduct the same basic conversation. This conversation may span just one or many calls, chats, or meetings. And it flows quite easily and naturally through four phases.

  1. Respect, Trust, Bond Establishing, improving, and reinforcing your relationship even if you have never met before.
  2. What, What, Why Explore. What is the current situation? What results do you and the other person each want to see? And why?
  3. Who, How, When Answer details. How will we do this? Who will do it? By when will it be done?
  4. Yes We agree; let’s go.

Spend most of your time in Phase 1. “Add bricks to the foundation” of your relationship with the other person at any time. Spend a significant amount of time in Phase 2 (also known as What-Squared-Why) so you can learn what makes a win for them for them to learn what makes a win for you. Spend a good amount of time working through the details in Phase 3. And, if an agreement makes sense for everyone, spend just a bit of time finalizing the agreement in Phase 4.

If a conversation is going wrong, you probably are headed down, backwards through the phases. Starting with “Let’s make a deal” or “Here’s what I want you to do” will be much, much harder to do. At any time, your job it to know which phase you are in and watch for opportunities to move up to the next phase.

Follow these four phases to generate win-win agreements. It’s that simple.


In your corner,



Today’s photo credit: daftgirly via photopin cc

Leave a Reply