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If, as I would hope, you have accepted your own responsibility for ‘life’ and have started focusing in your Circle of Influence, creating and working on a plan that serves your legacy, you need to work with other people – which can be fraught. Working your Emotional Bank Account through Habit 4 is a great way to do that. It is the beginning of Public Victory.

Many people confuse the name of this Habit. When asked what it is, they say “Win/Win” with gusto. Wrong. It is “THINK Win/Win.” As you cannot predict or demand any response from A.N. Other, you can only focus on your own attitude and approach as that is firmly within your Circle of Influence. You have to take 100% responsibility for communication.

There are 6 takes on agreements. They are Win/Win, Win/Lose, Lose/Lose, Lose/Win, Win, Win /Win or No Deal. Think of them like this –

  1. Win/Win good; the ideal opening “thought-salvo” to any negotiation;
  2. Win/Lose; “I will beat you into the ground to get what I want at your expense”;
  3. Lose/Win surrender; “Walk over me, everyone else does.”;
  4. Win – also selfish but with no regard for the other;
  5. Lose/Lose is used a lot in divorces; “If I can’t have it neither can you!”; and
  6. Win/Win or No Deal, which means we can decide to disagree, agreeably, and not do the deal.

Only Win/Win and Win/Win or No Deal establish and maintain good relationships – all of the others fail that test and actually prevent future discourse.

There are 5 Dimensions of Win/Win, applied in turn in order to achieve the best ‘deal’. By the way, by ‘deal’ I mean any agreement from a merger between Pepsi and Coca Cola to getting your teenager to clean her room. The dimensions executed in order are Character – what you are as a person, e.g. congruent and reliable; Relationship – established and firmed up before proceeding; Agreement – results focused and made, confirmed, and described in a way both parties understand and accept (see DR GRAC); Systems – for making the agreement work; and Processes – for detailed execution of the agreement.

Character is also described as the nexus of Integrity, Maturity (balance of courage and consideration) and an Abundance Mentality (an acknowledgement that there is enough pie to go around). Maturity means having the courage to seek what you want but having the consideration to do so with the other’s needs firmly in mind and part of the solution.

Once you have the character to start negotiating – i.e. you enter with Win/Win as your objective – then you start to establish or improve a relationship so that open conversation can take place with a view to then entering into the DR GRAC element of the agreement. Once the agreement is reached, then systems for accountability, reward and execution can also be agreed and implemented.

In The Seven Habits book, Stephen Covey provides examples of each of the 6 levels of agreement, and examples of how this kind of thinking has worked in the home and in business. Indeed, his example of establishing such an agreement with his son, through DR GRAC, is now legendary in the world of personal development. It can be viewed on YouTube HERE. His son says he was framed.

Approaching any potential agreement with Win/Win in mind is the Root of interpersonal success. Tomorrow and Thursday we will look at the shoot and the fruit of the Public Victory.