Pursue win-win situations

I enjoy cruising because it’s a win-win situation; it works for me and it works for the cruise line. I recently paid only $1,350 for a luxurious, 16-day transatlantic/European cruise (Miami to Rome) which included all meals, lodging, transportation, and entertainment. One evening, as I was munching on a filet mignon, I wondered, “How do they make this work, financially?” I don’t know, but obviously they do, or they wouldn’t be in business.

Both I and the cruise line benefited from a win-win scenario.

Often, we’re trapped in a zero-sum situation—in order for someone to “win,” someone else must “lose.” But there are also positive-sum situations in which everyone “wins.” Let’s pursue those.

How and why do we often succumb to a win-lose mentality? Perhaps through our exposure to athletics, where there’s usually an emphasis on winning or losing. Or perhaps we’ve been taught that to be successful in business, I must win and the competition must fail.

But with proper thought and structure, most experiences can be designed to be mutually beneficial.

  • Employee/employer relationships should be a win-win relationship.
  • Products and services should seem right and fair to both the seller and the buyer.
  • Close relationships should be balanced and mutually advantageous.
  • When conflicts do arise, the conflict resolution process can aim to accommodate all participants.
  • Effective networking is predicated upon being mutual beneficial.

Almost all productive social behavior is based on win-win scenarios.

I’ll close with a cute story about a bet between a boyfriend and girlfriend regarding a Brazil vs. Argentina football match.
1. If Brazil wins, the boy will kiss the girl.
2. If Brazil loses, the girl will kiss the boy.

Now that’s a win-win situation.

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