I remember my surprise the first time I heard the phrase win/win. I don’t remember where I was, but I do remember the feeling of shock I had at the idea that both participants could be winners at the same time.
I was raised in a very athletic household. Lots of sports. Lots of games. You and your team either won or lost. It was a zero sum game. If there was a winner, there had to be a loser. And this is how, subconsciously, I approached life. If I wasn’t winning, I was losing. I didn’t know any better.
So, as I wrapped my head around the win/win idea, I must tell you, it was difficult. What does it mean to have everyone winning? What does that look like?
If you have these questions, read on for some practical tools to bring this concept into your daily life…
To have everyone win, first you must understand what a win could be for them. This means you have to actually ask them. It can be as simple as “what would make this experience a win for you?” And you have to listen to what they have to say, and really make sure you understand it.
The second thing that’s important is to be as committed to their win as you are to your own win. This can take some soul-searching, because if you’re anything like me, it goes against all you’ve been taught about winners and losers. But, once you take on really being as committed to everyone’s win as you are to your own, a big shift will take place. Your partners and team-mates will feel your commitment, and they will start to match you.
The third concept to take on is something that for me was really life-changing… Here it is: If everyone on my team isn’t winning, I’m not winning. Conversely, if I’m not winning, they aren’t winning.