So, as we get into a new week, we are approaching the end of the A to Z of Successful Business Owners and Leaders.
So, this week’s thought is all about “W is for Win-Win!” It is a meaty one with loads of information for you.
It is great to be a winner and we all want to work with them.
At the same time, to many people, “Winning” is about defeating others. Because, in defeating others, our success will probably be very short-lived and cause more damage than anything else.
However, winning successfully is a not about winning at other peoples’ expense, it is about winning peoples’ hearts.
Being successful does not mean that we have to look for ways to defeat others. We can always make the choice to look for ways for everyone to win.
Leaders and Working in a Team:
If you work with others in a team, or you work with associates, affiliates, suppliers etc., you are all on the same team regardless of what your title is or which department you report into. You have to decide which is more important to you:
If you are a leader, being a person that helps your team achieve their greatest potential, or engaging in an internal power struggle? You can do one or the other but you can’t do both.
The term: “Win-Win” – what does it actually mean?
When you think of the term “win-win”, you may think about compromise, or giving up a little of what you want so that someone else can get a little more of what they want.
In today’s climate especially, the art of the compromise seems especially lost. All too often, people are digging in their heels, refusing to give the slightest ground, both on the big things and the small things that don’t really matter!
So, we don’t always have great role models to follow, but that’s no excuse. We just have to go back to basics. What does compromise even look like?
What happens when everyone digs in their heels?
No one wins when everyone digs in their heels, and there is no easier way to make an office politics enemy for life than to derail someone’s pet project because you refuse to budge. We want to always look for the win-win through influencing in a positive way – without any manipulation.
It is better every single day of the week to get 70%, or 60%, or even 50% of what you want and to hand someone else a win than it is to get 100% of what you want and to win but lose your reputation and friends along the way.
People being people will carry around that slight in their back pocket for years, sometimes just waiting for an opportunity to return the favour.
Try to understand what people think they are losing.
When co-workers are resistant to coming up with a compromise, a common explanation is “well, they’re just afraid of change.” Not true. Things change around us all the time. People get married, divorced, start new jobs, the kids go off to college, we buy new houses and move.
No one is running down the street screaming in terror when those things happen. In fact, many times they are cheering the change on!
That means it’s not the change that people are afraid of – it’s the impact of the change.
Since everyone is giving up a little bit, there is a very real sacrifice involved in compromising. The people you’re working with may have a strong emotional connection to the thing you are asking them to give up, and when emotions come into play, things get tricky.
People make decisions emotionally and justify them rationally. So, we have to take care of the emotional part of the brain that believes that compromise equals loss.
So, what do they believe they are losing in the process of the compromise? Control? Power? Approval? Recognition? Influence? Stability? Their job?
How to move towards a compromise when people feel emotional:
Whether or not any of these are true, any one of these factors could be something that might prevent them from opening up to a compromise. This is where you have to put them in control and to help them feel safe.
Let them take the power position by asking “What would you need to move forward?”
Or even just ask them what other options they have.
Explore different ways to compromise and aim for a win-win that suits you both.
“What if we did it this way? What if we did it that way? How would you feel about those options?”
You’re not trying to sell them on an idea as much as you’re trying to figure out what the true sticking point is. Just talk about it, human to human, and let them open up to you without trying to push them in a specific direction.
Give them a golden bridge to retreat across.
If you’ve never read Sun Tzu’s Art of War, you will be familiar with: “Build your enemy a golden bridge to retreat across.”
The best way to defuse a stalemate isn’t to fight it aggressively or to throw up your hands in futility declaring that you’ve done everything you can. It’s to give your opponent a way to retreat that allows them to keep their dignity intact.
So, once you know what the other person / people want, and what they think they are losing if they don’t get it, then your next best move is to find a way to give them a win.
Give them some, or even all, of what they want. You want them to be able to hold their head up high when they walk out of that discussion.
Sometimes the real sticking points in these discussions aren’t large concessions – they are private assurances or small gestures that affirm that the specific steps in the process won’t change. Don’t dismiss the value of these small compromises when it comes to building getter relationships.
In a professional world where many people are guarding themselves against being thrown under the bus by their boss or their colleagues, the person who makes it their aim to achieve a win-win is the one who will be admired.
I hope you have enjoyed this “Thought for the Week”!
And if you haven’t already, remember that I would love to help you to explore you own hopes, dreams and challenges and create a roadmap to success with you.
You can book your Free Clarity Session and there is absolutely no obligation and we can meet via Zoom or Skype.
Have a great week!
Very best wishes for your success.