Habit 4, Think Win-Win Systems and Processes (#4, and #5 on Covey’s Five Dimensions of Win/Win chart)

Personal comment: I’ve included both Systems and Processes with the intent of moving the conversation along to Habit 5.

Author’s quotes:

Win/Win can only survive in an organization when the systems support it. If you talk Win/Win but reward Win/Lose, you’ve got a losing program on your hands.

You basically get what you reward. If you want to achieve the goals and reflect the values in your mission statement, then you need to align the reward system with these goals and values. If it isn’t aligned systemically, you won’t be walking your talk.

So often the problem is in the system, not in the people. If you put good people in bad systems, you get bad results. You have to water the flowers you want to grow.

As people really learn to think Win/Win, they can set up the systems to create and reinforce it. They can transform unnecessarily competitive situations to cooperative ones and can powerfully impact their effectiveness by building both P (Production) and PC (Production Capability).

Win/Win puts the responsibility on the individual for accomplishing specified results within clear guidelines and available resources. It makes a person accountable to perform and evaluate the results and provides consequences as a natural result of performance. And Win/Win systems create the environment which supports and reinforces the Win/Win performance agreements.

“There’s no way to achieve Win/Win ends with Win/Lose or Lose/Win means. You can’t say, ‘You’re going to think Win/Win, whether you like it or not.’ So the question becomes how to arrive at a Win/Win solution.

In my own work with various people and organizations seeking Win/Win solutions, I suggest that they become involved in the following four-step process:

First, see the problem from the other point of view. Really seek to understand and to give expression to the needs and concerns of the other party as well as or better than they can themselves.
Second, identify the key issues and concerns (not positions) involved.
Third, determine what results would constitute a fully acceptable solution.
And fourth, identify possible new options to achieve those results.”

Personal comments:

Freedom and support must be given to those asked or responsible for setting up systems. Too often I’ve watched managers usurp control especially when their “sacred cows” may be eliminated. Those sacred cows vary from minor to major, and yet often these sacred cows block improvements. Win/Win is more than a catch phrase. It is created by us from the inside out. Too many cannot, or refuse to, understand that.

It is also important to be sure, and clarify, that there really is a problem before proceeding along Covey’s 4-step process. An example is one staff member, who I’ve mentioned before, quite often made an issue of pay with his employees. He wasn’t capable of understanding there was a pay structure that his employees fit in, and that pay structure included everyone in the organization.

When identifying key issues and concerns it is easy for the group to slide into personalities, especially when those personalities are not present. Always avoid discussing personalities if the focus is to be on key issues and concerns. Otherwise the meeting could end up being a waste of time.

Next Habit 5
Seek First To Understand, Then To Be Understood
Character And Communication

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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