When two Win/Lose people get together—that is, when two determined, stubborn, ego-invested individuals interact—the result will be Lose/lose. Both will lose. Both will become vindictive and want to ‘get back’ or ‘get even,’ blind to the fact that murder is suicide, that revenge is a two-edged sword.
Lose/Lose is also the philosophy of the highly dependent person without inner direction who is miserable and thinks everyone else should be, too. ‘If nobody ever wins, perhaps being a loser isn’t so bad.’
Another common alternative is simply to think Win. People with the Win mentality don’t necessarily want someone to lose. That’s irrelevant. What matters is that they get what they want.
When there is no sense of contest or competition, Win is probably the most common approach in everyday negotiation. A person with the Win mentality thinks in terms of securing his own ends—and leaving it to others to secure theirs.
Which Option Is Best?
The best choice, then, depends on reality. The challenge is to read that reality accurately and not to translate Win/Lose or other scripting into every situation.
Most situations, in fact, are part of an interdependent reality, and then Win/Win is really the only viable alternative of the five.
Win/Lose is not viable because, although I appear to win in a confrontation with you, your feelings, your attitudes toward me and our relationship have been affected.
If we come up with a Lose/Win, you may appear to get what you want for the moment. But how will that affect my attitude about working with you, about fulfilling the contract?
In the long run, if it isn’t a win for both of us, we both lose. That’s why Win/Win is the only real alternative in interdependent realities.
Win/Win or No Deal
No deal basically means that if we can’t find a solution that would benefit us both, we agree to disagree agreeably—No Deal.
When you have No Deal as an option in your mind, you feel liberated because you have no need to manipulate people, to push your own agenda, to drive for what you want. You can be open. You can really try to understand the deeper issues underling the positions.
Anything less than Win/Win in an interdependent reality is a poor second best that will have impact in the long-term relationship. The cost of that impact needs to be carefully considered. If you can’t reach a true Win/Win, you’re very often better off to go for No Deal.”
My No Deal example: I met with an individual, I had known for a short time, to discuss a business opportunity. We worked through some details, but when we started discussing an assistant I became squeamish about it. I’m cognizant of my “gut feelings”, and they were strong about this matter. Within a few days No Deal won out, and we went our separate ways.
My Win example: We needed work done on our home, and a company we used before stopped by to evaluate the situation. Their response was wait another year before proceeding.
Over that year the condition of our home deteriorated so I called them at start of the following year. When they arrived to do the work I was given a price that was too high, and it would have been less if they had done the work when asked. The owner, in response, said that he would not charge for some additional work that was needed. This could qualify as a Win, or Win/Win (he got the job, and I got a better deal).
Next: Habit 4
Five Dimensions of Win/Win (Part I)