Every day this year I am on a mission to watch one Ted Talk every day.

Today I was watching Kare Anderson talk about being an opportunity maker and I thought that this was a great example of win-win in action.

You can watch the video here:

winwincarterThe idea of Win/Win is something that has been around for a long time. I am not sure when I first heard of it but I am pretty sure that I have always believed that in negotiations the best possible outcome is one where both sides feel that they have won.

According to Covey there are six different ways in which agreements can play out:

  1. Win/Win
  2. Win/Lose
  3. Lose/Win
  4. Lose/Lose
  5. Win
  6. Win/Win or No Deal

Of these Win/Win is the most powerful.

There is some discussion about how it is possible to have a win/win situation in a sporting environment. As an example in my upcoming visit to the UK later this month my nephew has somehow managed to persuade me to play a variation of football against my old school along with my brothers and nephews.

We will have our work cut out I suspect to win as we will be playing against a team who are a) much younger than us and b) play regularly.  So whilst we may well lose the game there are several wins… For the team who will win against us, well I suspect the win will be the shear pleasure of beating us 30 – 0!

Or another example again in sports is that I am off to run a Marathon. There is no way I will win! However the win for me is that I get to have a focus for my running training and I manage to prove to myself that I can really run 26.2 miles!

Jimmy Carter said that:

“Unless both sides win, no agreement can be permanent”.

And there are many examples of this.

Covey suggests that there are five different areas that we need to work on to become great at having a win/win mentality:

These are

  • Character
  • Relationships
  • Agreements
  • Systems
  • Processes

Of these character is the most important and Covery breaks this down into: having integrity, maturity and having an abundance mentality.

The abundant mentality is often a particularly hard one to grasp. The fact is though that there is invariably more than enough to go around. Whether in a business environment and trying to hold on to customers, or in a dating environment when there are several billion other opportunities out there!

Developing an abundance mentality has a lot to do with the first habit of being proactive…  it is really hard if not impossible to be abundant unless you can take responsibility for yourself.

One thing that has been suggested to help you increase your abundance is to give away that which you feel most lacking in! As an example most of us feel that we never have enough time… Parkinson’s law may have something to do with that for me…

But there was an interesting study that suggests that if you don’t have enough time, by volunteering your time you end up having more time available.

So do you always strive for a win-win situation? I would love to hear examples in the comments.