Win – Win or no deal

infinite photo

I wrote about culture last time and now I want to share the culture statements from my company and what them mean to me.

The first statement is Win – Win or no deal. It’s borrowed from Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits.

When I first started I struggled with the idea of Win – Win. I couldn’t figure out how both parties could win. I thought there had to be a winner and a loser. That makes it really hard to negotiate if that’s your approach. We don’t actually feel good about winning if it means someone else has to lose. We’re connected as humans and with a few exceptions (there are nasty people) we all want to succeed and I think helping others succeed is the best thing we can do for ourselves as well.

There are two types of games. Finite and Infinite. Generally finite games have rules, a set time limit and usually a winner and a loser. Think soccer (football for everyone outside the USA).  Time limit is 90 minutes. Sometimes it ends in a tie but that was explained to me on Father’s day. My son shared how even a tie helps someone win in the big picture. I never knew that but that’s a different article sometime. Leave it to say I didn’t know the rules but I’m learning. The point is a finite game does in fact have a winner and a loser. It’s also a limited amount of resources (think Risk, the game) Clearly there is a limited amount of space in which to conquer and control.

In our company culture, we’re encouraged to find a better game. An infinite game. There are still rules but no time limit. We want the game to continue past the current deal.  Long range thinking is a path to take, Big picture stuff to think about. An attitude of abundance instead of scarcity. I think about helping someone with a rental. It pays almost nothing but it really helps a person who needs that. The win for me is the referrals that occur from it. The relationships that grow out of it. Think bigger and it leads to better problem solving and requires listening to see what’s really important to the other party.

One of the rules required is integrity. You have to be honest in your dealings. It doesn’t mean you tip your hand with negotiating but you don’t deceive.  Ever. Truth can be liberating. It’s easier to deal in the truth rather than create a situation where you have a false advantage just so you can win. I believe you will be found out and that will sacrifice your ability to negotiate in future deals.

That listening part is important too. It means you can put yourself in the other’s position. Figure out what they need and want. It can be as simple as negotiating the refrigerator in the deal (the seller didn’t want it really anyway) or telling the seller that “the buyer really likes your dog :)” (awkward, to say the least).

This is a complex topic and we can dig in for hours to discuss. I really just wanted to share the concept and welcome discussion so comment below or email me if you want to take this further. I”m game for that and I’ll respond, I promise.

The next article will be Integrity – Do the right thing and I’ll get it posted in a couple of days.

Thanks for listening,
Jerry Robertson
678-616-1578 Direct

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