Archive for November 2009
Creating win-win situations
(or, you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours!)
When I worked in the printing industry many moons ago the prevailing culture was one of conflict. The management thought it was great to get the five trades unions fighting each other and it was hardly surprising that the whole industry collapsed.
A few years later I read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Steven Covey and thought how much the idea of creating win-win situations would have changed the way things were done. Since then I’ve tried to create win-win situations in most things that I do.
THE 7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE PEOPLE
HABIT 4: THINK WIN-WIN
Think Win-Win isn’t about being nice, nor is it a quick-fix technique. It is a character-based code for human interaction and collaboration.
Most of us learn to base our self-worth on comparisons and competition. We think about succeeding in terms of someone else failing–that is, if I win, you lose; or if you win, I lose. Life becomes a zero-sum game. There is only so much pie to go around, and if you get a big piece, there is less for me; it’s not fair, and I’m going to make sure you don’t get anymore. We all play the game, but how much fun is it really?
Win-win sees life as a cooperative arena, not a competitive one. Win-win is a frame of mind and heart that constantly seeks mutual benefit in all human interactions. Win-win means agreements or solutions are mutually beneficial and satisfying. We both get to eat the pie, and it tastes pretty darn good!
A person or organization that approaches conflicts with a win-win attitude possesses three vital character traits:
Integrity: sticking with your true feelings, values, and commitments
Maturity: expressing your ideas and feelings with courage and consideration for the ideas and feelings of others
Abundance Mentality: believing there is plenty for everyone
Many people think in terms of either/or: either you’re nice or you’re tough. Win-win requires that you be both. It is a balancing act between courage and consideration. To go for win-win, you not only have to be empathic, but you also have to be confident. You not only have to be considerate and sensitive, you also have to be brave. To do that–to achieve that balance between courage and consideration–is the essence of real maturity and is fundamental to win-win.
Why making decisions is crucial to success
The procrastination I’m talking about is not about putting things off but rather about not making decisions. Until a decision is taken no action is possible and it is the lack of action that causes most failures. Procrastination is a complex psychological behavior that affects everyone to some degree or other. While it can be a minor irritation for some people it is a source of considerable stress and anxiety for others.
Procrastination is sometimes confused with time management but this is not really the issue.
An analysis of over 25,000 people who had experienced some kind of failure revealed that the inability to make decisions was near the top of the list of reasons. (Napoleon Hill ‘Think and Grow Rich’)
Henry Ford was renowned for attributing his success to his ability to make decisions quickly and stick to them, often despite fierce opposition from his advisors.
Are you easily swayed by others?
If you find you are easily swayed by the opinions of others and constantly change your mind because you are afraid of what others might say or think about you, procrastination will cripple you and stop you from making a decision and more importantly, from taking action. The ability to make decisions comes back to understanding exactly what it is that you want, to the burning desire and definite purpose that underpins all achievement.
Leaders in all walks of life decide quickly and firmly and the world has a habit of making room for the person who knows where they are going and why.
Have you worked out how you make decisions?
Do you work from logic, from gut instinct or do you take advice from others? Recent studies have shown that decision making can be affected by our prejudices, our past experience and even our surroundings.
However, the reason that most people put off making a decision is the fear of getting it WRONG.
Procrastination leads to inaction. Inaction leads to failure. Failure leads to loss of confidence which make it hard to make decisions. The only way out of this loop is to have courage, make a decision in the full knowledge that whatever happens you will deal with it and remember that most fears are about things that never happen.
Steps to Success
(Inspired by Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich”)
1. Decide what you want. Desire is the starting point of all achievement.
2. Believe that you can get what you want. Self doubt will prevent you from taking action.
3. You don’t have to do it all yourself. Surround yourself with people who know what you don’t know and who can do what you can’t do.
4. Make practical use your imagination. Work out how to turn your dreams into reality.
5. Create a plan, organise your ideas and take continuous action.
6. Avoid procrastination and make decisions. Use information and knowledge from others but let the decisions be your own.
7. Persist. Things will go wrong, people will let you down. If your desire is strong enough you will find a way through all difficulties to achieve your desire.
8. Aquire power and learn how to use it. The ability to lead others in a spirit of harmony to achieve a definite objective is a major source of success.
9. Understand that sex is the most powerful of human desires. When this desire is harnessed into a creative process it can be the source of genius.
10. Learn to use the power of the subconscious mind which can work for or against you but which can be controlled.
11. Develop and learn to trust the ‘sixth sense’. Intuition can help us to avoid dangers and grasp opportunities.
12. Deal with fear, the major obstacle to achievement.
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