A lot of what people do in society revolves around themselves. Oftentimes, people forget arguments and discussions can be solved with a win-win. It’s part of human DNA to behave this way. Humans have adapted over the years and over generations to think about themselves first, but today, Epic Share is going to discuss how you can come up with win-win solutions with good intentions. Win-win solutions can be applied to all sorts of aspects in your left; however, most can be applied to two categories of your life: relationships and communication.
Whether it’s a relationship between a couple or between friends, communication needs to take place. Unfortunately, what most people do is sweep conflicts under the rug when it isn’t convenient to discuss it. This is something Sammy experienced first-hand in a previous relationship. It affected her multiple times. When her then-partner wanted to discuss something, she would communicate with him. However, if it was a concern she wanted to discuss, he would avoid communicating and excuse himself by saying, “It doesn’t bring me peace to talk about it.” This habit often leads to a weak relationship. This is because not being able to communicate your concerns creates resentment. Sadly, resentment exists in many relationships.
WIN-WIN WITH BUSINESS PARTNERS
This necessity to communicate can also be applied in the business world. Kosta has had to discuss concerns with his colleagues and negotiate with his business partners countless times. He’s confident every deal he’s ever made has started with a win-win mentality. The trick is not to think about how you can win and the other person can lose, but rather to think of it as 50/50. If someone isn’t winning, there will be resentment.
You can take this philosophy and apply it to any relationship in the office: with your coworkers, with your employers, etc. In fact, Kosta uses this philosophy with his employees. He always presents them with a win-win. Win for you, win for the company. When win-wins are used in the office, everybody is happy. Employees are going to outperform and put their heart and soul into their work.
Sammy has experienced times when she did not feel at peace about a business decision; the best thing to do was communicate with Kosta. They have kept this habit of communication so well that Kosta now knows to ask, “Why don’t you feel at peace?” before Sammy even says anything. They’re able to come up with new plans together to ensure every situation ends in a win-win where both of them benefit.
WIN-WIN WITH FAMILY
Whether it’s a business partner or a loved one, everyone should be treated equally. This includes children and grandchildren, too. Just because a child is young does not mean they don’t deserve the opportunity to communicate.
When negotiating with their grandson, Kosta and Sammy made sure to properly communicate with him so both sides could benefit. Once, when he was six years old, Kosta and Sammy wanted their grandson to read more often. So, they sat him down and negotiated a win-win: “Win for you because you get toy dinosaurs. Win for us because we want you to read every day.” Kosta and his grandson even shook hands at the end of the deal.
It’s important to tell your children and grandchildren the purpose behind actions. Sammy found she was guilty of occasionally not explaining things to her child in the past. If she was asked, “Why can’t I do this?” Sammy would say, “Because I said so.” Today, she believes explaining the purpose to children can help them learn and grow. Tell them why you want them to read more. Tell them why they can’t cross the road without an adult by their side. It provides them with the opportunity to understand the impact of cause and effect.
You can apply these fundamentals to every component and aspect in your life. Kosta even uses these tips when negotiating with his extended family, like when deciding how often to visit or how often to invite visitors over. The key is to make it so everyone wins every time.
WIN-WIN WITH COUPLES
A very common point of contention between couples is house-hunting. Once again, the key is to communicate so both sides experience a benefit or win-win.
Once, when Kosta and Sammy were house-hunting, they experienced the struggle to agree on a perfect home. The first house, Kosta liked but Sammy didn’t; the second house, Sammy liked but Kosta didn’t. So, they discussed what it was about both houses they liked and didn’t like in order to better understand what both sides needed to “win.” They communicated their honest feelings and negotiated effectively until they knew exactly what was necessary.
One of the features they knew the house needed was multiple closets. Kosta has a colorful, fashionable collection of clothing that Sammy jokes he needs his own closet for. She was willing to have a tiny box as her closet so he could have his own space; however, they knew this would ultimately create conflict. Instead, they decided to be patient and wait until a house with two closets came by.
Kosta now jokes he learned after many nights of sleeping on the couch to always end with a win-win. “Maybe 51/49 instead of 50/50,” he adds. They use win-wins in every large transaction they make: furniture, cars, houses, etc. Any purchase that can mutually benefit them is negotiated first. Because they were patient and did not rush into buying a house, they found the perfect home together: one they both like, a true win-win.
NEGOTIATING THROUGH COMMUNICATION
If you master communication, you’ll master negotiation. This is one of the many aspects of Sammy’s relationship with Kosta that she appreciates. When you truly, openly communicate, it brings to light a new aspect of negotiation. You allow the other party to share their perspective so you can understand the reasoning behind their concerns; in turn, you explain your own reasons for wanting to address the situation. Being an effective, honest listener will help you communicate with others. Sadly, more often than not, people do most of the talking and little listening. But as Kosta says, “You have two ears and one mouth. Listen more, talk less.”
In the end, win-wins are always the way to go. Lose-lose doesn’t work, and win-lose leaves one side with resentment. Mutual gain is all about treating people like humans, with respect; honor their feelings before you make a decision. This allows you to feel good about the decisions you make, and it gives your relationships the opportunity to thrive without resentment.