Think Win/Win

My previous post about Stephen Covey’s third habit focuses on building your brand appropriately by means of prevention, recognizing new opportunities, and relationships.  The fourth habit, Think Win/Win, builds on the ideology that managers should spend the majority of their time in Quadrant II.  A win/win attitude is defined simply by Covey as:               

A frame of mind and heart that constantly seeks mutual benefit in all human interactions (207). 

Now, let’s talk about attitude and stances with your employees and business partners.  Without even knowing the six other paradigms of human interaction, we know based on the positive context associated with Win/Win there is definitely a high probability that it is the optimal paradigm.  An effective manager not only thinks about himself, but he equally thinks about his employees and business partners (supplies, vendors, customers).  Win/Lose, Lose/Win, Lose/Lose, Win, and No deal all will generate a disadvantageous state for someone or something. 

Majority of the paradigms have a negative connotation with them meaning someone will benefit significantly less or not at all.  To choose a paradigm where your employees “lose” will result in feelings of worthlessness and that goes against any method to motivate or engage your employees.  You do not build relationships and business colleagues within a company by living by a paradigm that creates fierce competition among the organization. 

Managers need to acknowledge all the ways human interaction can take place and plan accordingly.  In my experience it is best to maintain a Win/Win attitude among your employees because the results they produce will benefit you drastically.  Think for a second about a running play in football.  There is a specific sequence to the play and the process needs to be carried out exactly as drawn up or the play will not be successful.  This process involves everyone on the field from the snap of the ball, to the sound of the whistle at the end of the play.  Same with a business environment, you need each of your employees to do their job requirements and do them to the best of their ability.  If that means you need to pat them on the back and tell them they are doing a great job, DO IT! Give your employees a sense of pride and accomplishment to provide room for everyone to improve or benefit (including yourself). 

Too many managers manage and concentrate on the self-centered prospective.  These are managers who are doing whatever they can to get ahead and have no problem stepping on you on the way up.  This type of manager is practicing a Win/Lose paradigm and the bottom line is nine times out of ten, it will be the employee with less experience and less education that will pull the short straw.  Concentrate on bettering your position in the company by helping others around you become more experienced and knowledgeable.  Thus creating a Win/Win attitude that will benefit the organization. 

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About Benjamin Fry

I will graduate in December with a degree in business management at the University of Nevada, Reno. I have held multiple management positions at my current company, Sports Authority. Continuing to further my KSAs in management, motivation and leadership. I feel it necessary to break down the barrier that younger management and older management have built between themselves. With my experience, I plan to aid managers from all ages to understand how to integrate various management styles in order to make businesses more efficient.
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