You might have heard about thinking Win/Win or finding the 3rd alternative, but how do you really create an effective agreement? In the book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen Covey details the five elements of the Win/Win agreement.
But first, let’s step back and get to the essence of thinking Win/Win.
Think Win/Win is the habit of interpersonal leadership. It goes beyond transactional relationship, to transformational leadership, where the people and the relationship are transformed.
It’s the art of finding the 3rd alternative in action.
It starts by looking at the bigger picture, or creating one, and it flows from an abundance mentality. You ask the question, “How can we both win?” To do this, means looking beyond your self-interest, and looking for mutual interests and shared goals. Integrity is the cornerstone that keeps you grounded in your values, and serves as a foundation for trust, and empathic listening helps you build the bridge of mutual understanding.
By using a Win/Win approach, you move from competition to cooperation and collaboration, and you can achieve better solutions. The downside is it takes longer and is more work. The upside is that the relationships, good will, and trust will serve you for the long run.
5 Elements of the Win/Win Agreement
According to Stephen Covey, the five elements of a Win/Win agreement are:
- Desired Results
Desired results are the what you want to achieve and when.
Guidelines are the parameters such as any principles or policies that guide how you achieve the results.
Resources include the people, budget, technical resources, and any organizational support to help achieve the results.
Accountability sets the time frame and the standards of performance to expect.
Consequences are the good and bad things that happen or will happen as a result of the evaluation.
Transform your relationships and yourself by going for the Win/Win.
Image by Kheel Center, Cornell University.