Win-Win – Creating Great Working Relationships
We’re exploring “Happy Relationships” in our Fresh Air Fridays community this month, which has us reflect on all manner of things that make relationships work well or less well.
One thing we’ve found very relevant is what Stephen Covey called Win-Win in his most famous book – The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. When we always seek Win-Win, we can’t help but create happy relationships in business and in life.
We’ve had a perfect example of this right here at Fresh Air Fridays HQ recently. We received a request to deliver our core programme in a different way and the business wanted an answer quickly. As the discussion started, it became apparent there were opposing views about how this could work. It could have created a stalemate position if we hadn’t already created a way of working that allowed us to come to a Win-Win solution.
How have we created a Win-Win environment?
We have safe discussion spaces where everyone is free to say what they think and feel
In this instance, it meant that when someone felt hurt by an assumption that had been made, they could say so which made sure the misunderstanding was cleared up. In this way the space was left clear, enabling the conversation to move forward.
We keep talking, no matter how long it takes
The person who raised the question thought it was going to be a five-minute conversation but in the end it took 40 minutes! This time was well spent, giving us the opportunity to air all the issues and come up with agreed ways to solve them.
It did take longer than we thought to resolve but we think it was worth it. Consider the alternative… One person feels unheard and, maybe, doesn’t raise an important question next time. They feel that they haven’t been heard and withdraw from the conversation. If this situation was allowed to continue to build it will definitely take more than 40 minutes to resolve!
Why is a Win-Win environment important in your business?
It maximises staff engagement?
In the absence of a Win-Win environment your staff will become disengaged, leading to a lower productivity. Seeking a Win-Win will engage your staff, which works for your business.
It’s not about compromise
Reaching a Win-Win solution isn’t about any one person or group compromising or making concessions from a place of lack or stalemate.
It is working together to find a solution that’s mutually agreeable – possibly something entirely different from the initial thoughts. Believing there is a Win-Win solution and continuing to explore until it is found, helps teams work together and think creatively enabling your business to succeed.
When it’s not win-win, somebody loses
When someone loses, there will be an impact further down the line. Finding a solution where all parties win needs everyone to understand that achieving the best outcome for all concerned is what you want to achieve. That’s the first step.
Creating Win-Win outcomes – 10 top tips
- Believe there is a Win-Win solution to be had (this can be the hardest part of the process)
- Create meetings where EVERYONE is heard
- Make it OK for people to say ANYTHING they feel
- Keep talking
- Don’t rush it
- If necessary, agree to disagree and come back again
- Keep listening and talking
- Avoid compromise when it feels like giving in
- Keep looking for a solution
Trust us, there’s always a win-win solution waiting to be found and the exploration to find it will create teams of people that are amazing to work with!