Summary: 4 of 7 in series on Personal Change
Win/Win is a frame of mind and heart that constantly seeks benefits in all interactions. Win/Win means that agreements or solutions are beneficial, satisfying. With a WIN/Win solution, all parties feel good about the decision and feel committed to the action plan. Win/Win sees life as a cooperative, not a competitive arena. Most people tend to think in terms of strong or weak, hardball or softball, win or lose. But that kind of thinking is fundamentally flawed. It’s based on power position rather than on principle. Win/Win is based on the paradigm that there is plenty for everybody, that one person’s success is not achieved at the expense or exclusion of the success of the others.
Win/Win is a belief in the Third alternative. It is not your way or my way, but rather the better way, the higher way.
One alternative to Win/Win is Win/Lose, the paradigm of the race to Bermuda. It says "I win, you lose."
In leadership style, Win/Lose is the authoritarian approach: "I GET MY WAY; YOU DON’T GET YOURS." Win/Lose people are prone to use position, power, credentials, possessions, or personality to get what they want.
Most people have been deeply scripted in the Win/Lose mentality since birth. First and most important of the powerful forces at work is the family. When one child is compared with another - when patience, understanding or love is given or withdrawn on the basis of such comparisons - people into Win/Lose thinking. Whenever love is given on a conditional basis, when someone has to earn, what’s being communicated to him or her is that they are not intrinsically valuable or loveable. Value does not lie inside them but rather it lies outside. It’s in comparison with somebody else or against some expectation.
And what happens to a young mind and heart, highly vulnerable, high dependent upon the support and emotional affirmation of the parents, in the face of conditional love? The child is molded, shaped, and programmed in the Win/Lose mentality.
"If I’m better than my brother, my parents will love me more."
"My parents don’t love me as much as they love my sister. I must not be as valuable."
Some people are programmed the other way - Lose/Win
"I lose, you win."
"Go ahead. Have your way with me."
"Step on me again. Everyone does."
"I’m a loser. I’ve always been a loser."
"I’m a peacemaker. I’ll do anything to keep peace."
Lose/Win is worse than win lose because it has no standards - no demands, no expectations, no vision. People who think Lose/Win are usually quick to please or appease. They seek strength from popularity and acceptance. They have little courage to express their own feeling and convictions and are easily intimidated by the ego strength of others.
In negotiation, Lose/Win is seen as giving in or giving up. In leadership style, it is permissiveness or indulgence. Lose/Win means being a nice guy, even if "nice guys finish last."
Win/Lose people love Lose/Win people because they can feed on them. They love their weaknesses - they take advantage of them. Such weaknesses complement their strength.
But the problem is that Lose/Win people bury a lot of feelings. And unexpressed feelings never die: THEY’RE BURIED ALIVE AND COME FORTH LATER IN UGLIER WAYS. Psychosomatic illnesses, particularly of the respiratory, nervous and circulatory systems often are the reincarnation of cumulative resentment, deep disappointment and disillusionment repressed by the Lose/Win mentality. Disproportionate rage or anger, overreaction to minor provocation, and cynicism are other embodiments of suppressed emotion.
Some people are programmed to simply think Win. People with the win mentality don’t necessarily want someone else 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.
But can’t you hear God saying:
Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.