7 Habits: Habit4 Win Win Thinking

Having learned the personal habits. Now we begin to learn to cultivate effective people interaction habits. When we communicate with people, we usually want something out of the interaction. And usually it will results in the following:

Win Lose or Draw

Everyone likes to WIN. Nobody likes to LOSE!

In short, Me win refers to I getting my way, what I wanted; Me Lose refers to I don’t get the way I want and most probably if the person I am communicating wins, gets what he/she wanted. Vice Versa.

Win-Win doesn’t come by easily as people tend to secure their own interests first before looking out for others. And in competitions, it is impossible to be achieve. But the desire to move towards a Win-Win outcome must be maintained in order to have a good lasting relationship.

A Win-Lose or Lose-Win is never healthy in a long run. How long do you think it will take for 1 party that kept losing to quit a relationship/partnership? It may have already broke before you found out… And the answer is usually not very long. Try putting someone before you and if the person doesn’t have any slightest form of “real” reciprocation – No matter how handsome or pretty, you will quit!

In practical terms, people feel that when they put in efforts, they would receive some forms of equivalent returns or more; Note: some returns are intangible. Nobody can invest in something or someone all the time while receiving negative value in return.

Lose-Lose means neither of us get what we wanted, and end up tearing each other down. No Deal refers to a neutral stance to protect individuals’ interest – we don’t get what we want but at the same time we don’t lose, except for the opportunity cost/loss – “Agreeing to Disagree”

Some time you need to lose first before you can win. And a short term win may cost you even more in the long term. The best we can do is to read the reality as accurate as possible and respond accordingly. Remember Outcome is 90% Response.

Think WIN-WIN: The Habit of Interpersonal Leadership

It is human nature to think WIIFM? (“What’s In It For Me?”). To have a WIN WIN outcome, we must look out for our counterpart’s interest too. If you don’t have his/her interest at heart, you will not have their attention.

“Without Attention, There is NO Understanding. Without Understanding, there is NO Influence.”
– Max

5 Dimension of Win Win

Win Win
Win Win – Habit of Interpersonal Leadership

1. Character

Integrity – Being the one with high moral values – Making and keeping commitments to ourselves and to others.
Maturity – The balance of Courage & Consideration

  • If you don’t have enough consideration for others, you will lose in the end in term of that relationship
  • If you don’t have enough courage, you will always be at the losing end and most probably not achieving your goals.

Abundance Mentality“There is plenty for all to win” – This mindset eliminates the need to compete against each other and to promote sharing.

 2. Relationship

Trust forms the basis of a partnership. It forms the platform for mutual learning, open communication and team creativity.
Understanding each other’s perspective in depth to work synergistically to create the win-win solution.
Open communication  allows doubts and negative feelings to be resolved in a mutually beneficial way.

3. Agreements

Results oriented approach defines what is to be done strategically.
Guidelines specify the parameters (principles, policies, rules, values, etc) to accomplish the goal.
Resource Management – Managing the means to reach your goals.
Accountability – Being responsible for the task you are assigned.
Consequences – Being prepared: Planning for Success and Failures; In times of failure, people may lose their senses on how to react correctly, sometimes resulting in negative chain reactions.

4. Systems – A Set of Process

An ongoing activity needs some sort of system/structure to support it. When a system is in place, the human aspect is being reduced thus streamlining processes automatically.
Win-Win cannot be achieved in an environment of competition and contest. However we can create an environment where people work together to compete against external performance standards.
A Win-Win Reward System is recommended in the book where both individual performance and team performance are combined factors for the reward and recognition.


Only win/win process will achieve a win/win results (The means to the end has to be aligned)
You reap what you sow – A wrong method will not lead you to the desired result or goal even though you get “closer” to it.
In processes are where the actions are, whereby human aspects will play an active part (A reminder to look into the first 3 habits).


Closing Pointers

One of the skills for effective communication is to suspend judgement. Sometimes, people usually assume the worst of the other party when the other party wanted something from them.  Don’t be quick to judge people, because when we do that, we lose the desire to want to understand the other party. Thus possibly resulting in negative feelings generated and what follows would be an effective communication break down, where nobody wins. Nobody is happy towards each other and it become unhealthy in the long run.

One of the tips to prevent a effective communication breakdown is always to try to be the “bigger” person – the one with more humility and moral greatness – The one who seeks to understand first. Which brings us to our next Chapter: Seek to understand first then be understood.

Recommended Reading

Previous Chapter: Private Victory
Next Chapter: Habit 5 Seek First to Understand, Then be Understood 

Share with us what you do to set your path towards win-win? Change of environment? Improving communication skills?

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