Habit 4, Think Win-Win, Five Dimensions of Win/Win (Part I)

Author’s quotes:

“Think Win/Win is the habit of interpersonal leadership. It involves the exercise of each of the unique human endowments—self-awareness, imagination, conscience, and independent will—in our relationships with others. It involves mutual learning, mutual influence, mutual benefits.

It takes great courage as well as consideration to create these mutual benefits, particularly if we’re interacting with others who are deeply scripted in Win/Lose.

That is why this habit involves principles of interpersonal leadership. Effective interpersonal leadership requires the vision, the proactive initiative and the security, guidance, wisdom and power that come from principle-centered leadership.

The principle of Win/Win is fundamental to success in all our interactions, and it embraces five interdependent dimensions of life. It begins with CHARACTER and moves toward RELATIONSHIPS, out of which flow AGREEMENTS. It is nurtured in an environment were STRUCTURE and SYSTEMS are based on Win/Win. And it involves PROCESS; we cannot achieve Win/Win ends with Win/Lose or Lose/Win means.

The following pattern shows how these five dimensions relate to each other:

1>>>>>>>                                        2>>>>>>>>                                           3
Win/Win                                  Win/Win                                          Win/Win
CHARACTER builds to:         RELATIONSHIPS builds to:           AGREEMENTS

And must include>>>> SUPPORTIVE SYSTEMS (4) and PROCESSES(5)

Now let’s consider each of the five dimensions in turn.


Character is the foundation of Win/Win, and everything else builds on that foundation. There are three character traits (Integrity, Maturity, and Abundance Mentality) essential to the Win/Win paradigm.

INTEGRITY. We’ve already defined integrity as the value we place on ourselves. Habits 1, 2, and 3 help us develop and maintain integrity. As we clearly identify our values and proactively organize and execute around those values on a daily basis, we develop self-awareness and independent will by making and keeping meaningful promises and commitments.

There’s no way to go for a Win in our own lives if we don’t even know, in a deep sense, what constitutes a Win—what is, in fact, harmonious with our innermost values. And if we can’t make and keep commitments to ourselves as well as to others, our commitments become meaningless. We know it; others know it. They sense duplicity and become guarded. There’s no foundation of trust and Win/Win becomes an ineffective superficial technique. Integrity is the cornerstone in the foundation.”

Personal comments:
Many must not possess the correct “innermost values” since integrity is so hard to find. It is obvious to me that keeping promises and commitments have become meaningless words to too many. Keeping promises and commitments, without respect for others, and ourselves, is unattainable, and the price we are paying is staggering.

My world, and I guess yours is too, is full of examples of the affect this has on us. I realize that there are times, and situations where promises and commitments cannot be kept. My point is the internal motives (lack of respect, values, character) that exist in those who continually void their promises and commitments.

Next: Habit 4
Think Win-Win
Five Dimensions of Win/Win (Part II)

Author: maxbinkley

Creator of Leadership to the Max My experience in the military helped set the career path for me in human resources. After the military I worked for The Dow Chemical Company and left there in 1993 to venture out on my own. I purchased a small business, then a franchise then started another business in semi-retirement.

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