I was brought up with a win/lose mentally. I was told that I have to fight fiercely for what I want and to do so fast before someone does it before me. My father told me: if your colleague studies 10 min, you have to study 15. And if you study 15 min, think that someone else might study 20.
Always being better, winning and being superior was the key to success.
But I came to realise that a winner is not a person who is very good at something and makes a nest on the podium, hides in a dark corner and locks his recipe for success in a safe.
So who is a winner?
A winner is a person who thinks win/win or nothing.
When negotiating, be it in a business setting or at home, a winner is courageous, determined, confident, brave. And at the same time, a winner is empathic, sensible, generous, kind.
Winners know what they want and understand what others want. They are genuinely interested in listening to their counterparts and understand their needs, requirements and opinions.
Winners, as negotiators, are looking for how they can blend what they want with the wants of others to come at a solution which makes everyone happy, leaves a place for appreciation and fulfilment.
Winners, as leaders and achievers, do not keep their recipe for success hidden, and they empower others to succeed. They do not keep the first place for themselves only and appreciate when someone with talent and potential comes from behind. You see, a winner and a leader are not afraid that someone will steal their place... winner's experience is priceless, and they can't be easily replaced until they, themselves, train and mentor talented people to take their place. Winners grow winners, and by growing winners, you will always be a winner.
... Or nothing
A person with a win/win mentality does not need to defeat anyone. Actually, they know when to back off and make it clear that they believe in a solution that meets everyone's needs and wants and if this can't be drawn out now or later, a no deal is excellent too.
When trying to find a middle ground is vital to make it clear that in case no solution comes up, it's ok- the relationship won't suffer, there won't be any hard feelings. And to promise such things and keep the promise is a trait of a strong, grounded character.
This is a strategy that works well at work, at home, with friends, family and business partners.
This next example might be a bit silly, but this is what I did coming from a place where win/win is the key: my boyfriend loves to sleep late. I wake up around 7... I hope you can see where the problems lie... During the weekend, if I want to go to the gym, I have to wake up around 7:30 (the gym closes quite early during the weekends). Going to the gym is very important to me, and my boyfriend knows that it is healthy to exercise, even though it is not his most favourite activity... he would like to sleep a bit more...
We came up with the following agreement: 1 day we wake up early and go to the gym, together- kind of a "us time". One day, even if I wake up much earlier and I get bored (and I do!), I have to wait until at least 9:30 for him to have his long sleep. This is how both of us got what we wanted, and it's a win/win- we are happy.
Also, sometimes, we just want to do different things, and that is ok. I know that there are no bad intentions and we respect that. We negotiate, try to meet in the middle but if that time there's no middle, nothing is fine, too- no hard feelings and definitely, no grudge.
So... Long story short
Thinking win/win is:
- finding a solution that fits both.
- understanding different point of view, needs and wants.
- being able to see beyond your beliefs and impulses
- being able to seek balance and embrace balance
- being able to value diversity and use it to your advantage- diversity is a friend, not an enemy.
It is not easy to have this kind of approach, but practice makes it permanent!
What is your take on this?