Almost every conversation includes negotiation. If you listen closely, you’ll hear a lot of pleasant disagreements disguised as idle chatter. Disagreements are healthy. It’s been said that if two people agree on everything all the time, only one person is doing the thinking. But what happens when your disagreements get in the way of productivity? Most of us learn to base our self-worth on comparisons and competition. We think about succeeding in terms of someone else failing – if I win, you lose; or if you win, I lose. Life becomes a zero-sum game. “Think Win-Win” sees life as a cooperative arena, not a competitive one. Win-Win is a frame of mind and heart that constantly seeks mutual benefit in all human interactions and means that agreements or solutions are mutually beneficial and satisfying.
To go for Win-Win, you not only have to be empathic, but you also have to be confident. You not only have to be considerate and sensitive, but you also have to be brave. That balance between courage and consideration is the essence of real maturity and is fundamental to Win-Win. Though many people think in terms of either/or, win-win requires that you be both. It is a balancing act between courage and consideration. There are three vital character traits that are essential to this habit:
Integrity: Sticking with your true feelings, values, and commitments. Your commitment to live out your values and principles is essential to a Win-Win mindset. If you don’t know what your values are, then you can’t determine what constitutes a win for you in the first place. Defining your core values is essential.
Maturity: Expressing your ideas and feelings with courage and showing consideration for the ideas and feelings of others. Maturity requires you to balance the courage to express your goals and expectations with the consideration to factor in the other person’s perspective. This allows you to pursue what you want while also maintaining your relationship.
Abundance Mentality: believing there is plenty — of success, money, and happiness — for everyone. You can only see the possibility of both people winning if you believe that one person’s success doesn’t come at the expense of the other person’s success.
Reaching a Win-Win resolution can be difficult, and sometimes feels impossible. Think Win-Win isn’t about being nice, nor is it a quick-fix technique. It is a character-based code for human interaction and collaboration. It often requires you to persist in dialogues longer, even when it feels you’ve reached an impasse. You also must listen carefully and genuinely try to understand the other person’s perspective and goals, then explicitly and respectfully express your own point of view. Eventually both parties can reach a solution that neither could have come up with on her own.