Think Win-Win

Hi folks,

In this post I talk about what I learnt by reading habit 4 of the book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Dr. Stephen Covey.

Habit 4 says “Think Win-Win”

This means that getting into an agreement with another person, it’s important to try to make that agreement mutually beneficial.

This way, you win and the other person wins.

There are 6 types of interactions according to the book.

  • Win-Win
  • Win-Lose
  • Lose-Win
  • Lose-Lose
  • Win
  • Win-Win or No Deal

People with Win-Lose mentality try to win at the expense of other people. They believe that to win, one has to beat someone else.

Such attitudes generally leads to Lose-Lose in the long run because the person they “beat” in one interaction may feel bad about it and cause problems for the victor in future, leading to a loss for everyone involved.

Lose-Win means generally letting other people have their way. People with this mentality can easily be taken advantage of, especially by people with Win-Lose mentality. Lose-Win is not a good paradigm to adopt as a general perspective. People who just want to keep the peace or who want to be liked by others sometimes try to adopt Lose-Win relationships.

Lose-Lose. People with this mentality generally cause problems for everyone in the interaction, including themselves.

Win. With mentality one just cares about winning, regardless of whether other people around win or lose.

Win-Win or No Deal. With this mentality, either both parties win in the interaction or there is no deal. This can be thought of as a higher form of Win-Win because in reality, it’s not always possible to construct win-win relationships.

Note that in reality, not every interaction has to be a Win-Win one. There are times when other types of interactions are more appropriate.

It takes a lot of courage to create win-win relationships because you have to make sure you aren’t cheated in those relationships.

It also takes a lot of empathy to create such relationships because you need to be able to step into the shoes of the other person to understand what they consider a win.

You also need to be flexible to be able to find third alternatives, rather than each person just sticking to their original stand on issues.

That’s all for now. Till next time, happy Win-Win relationships.

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