The late Dr. Stephen Covey synthesized the common patterns in the leaders he studied and worked with in his 1989 best-seller, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.
At the core of his message is the belief that the way we see the world is entirely based on our own perceptions. In order to change any given situation, we must change ourselves. And, in order to change ourselves, we must be able to change our perceptions.
Put simply, in the context of this crisis:
In order to change/improve the state of things during this crisis, we must change/improve ourselves first.
In order to change/improve ourselves, we must change/improve our perceptions.
“The way we see the problem is the problem.”
To undergo a paradigm shift and upgrade ourselves fundamentally, we must go beyond the surface level and alter our behavior for the long-term.
This is where the habits (7) come in:
- Be Proactive
- Begin with the End in Mind
- Put First Things First
- Think Win-Win
- Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
- Sharpen the Saw
4. Think Win-Win
In order to establish effective strategic alliances, we must commit to creating Win-Win situations that are mutually beneficial to each party.
To Covey, there are six paradigms of human interaction:
- Win-Win: Both people win. Agreements or solutions are mutually beneficial and satisfying to both parties.
- Win-Lose: “If I win, you lose.” Win-Lose people are prone to use their position, power, credentials and personality to get their way at the cost of the other party.
- Lose-Win: “I lose, you win.” Lose-Win people are quick to please and appease, and seek strength from popularity or acceptance.
- Lose-Lose: Both people lose. That is, when two Win-Lose people get together (two determined, stubborn, ego-invested individuals interact) the result will typically end in Lose-Lose.
- Win: People with the Win mentality don’t necessarily want someone else to lose – that’s irrelevant. What really matters is that they win at all costs, and ultimately get what they want.
- Win-Win or No Deal: If you can’t reach an agreement that is mutualluy beneficial, there is no deal.
Most deals are approached with the Win-Lose mentality, where one person will appear to get what they want for the moment, but as a result, the relationship is negatively impacted between the two people moving forward.
This negative impact can end up costing more in the medium to long-term than the initial benefit that was derived in the short-term.
Win-Win or No Deal as a mindset liberates us from feeling like we need to manipulate people or push our own agenda to get what we want. We can be open, really try to understand the underlying issues, and solve them.
To consistently strike Win-Win deals, we must be courageous, considerate and creative. We must also operate from an Abundance Mentality over a Scarcity Mentality.
Our belief system must be rooted in the reality that there is truly plenty out there for everyone. We do not want to operate with scarcity in our mind, meaning that everything is a zero-sum game (if you get it, I don’t).
In terms of interpersonal leadership, the more Win-Win situations we create, the more influential we become.
Identify three important relationships in your life. Do you give more than you take/Take more than you give? Write down 5 ways to always give more than you take with each one.
Deeply consider your last three interpersonal interactions with others. What was the source of those approaches/was it Win-Win?
Go out and Win by helping others Win!