The 7 Habits Book Series Review: Habit #4 – Think Win-Win

The Achilles Team recently read through “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey. Two weeks ago, we discussed the third Habit: Put First Things First. The fourth Habit, titled “Think Win-Win”, focuses on principles of interpersonal leadership. Covey refers to this principle as an emotion and state of mind that is always seeking a common benefit for everyone.

Achilles Group team member, Christina Harmon, explains “’Think Win-Win’, as Covey describes it, is one of the six paradigms of human interaction. The idea of ’Win-Win or No Deal’ empowers both parties to walk away if they both don’t win. In business, ‘walking away’ is analogous to terminating the relationship, with a vendor, client or employee. This emphasizes true collaboration as partners in the outcome – we’d prefer to both win, and understand that if we can’t, we’re not going to settle for a compromise where one party is not happy.”

Covey debates that a leadership style that promotes the win-lose strategy also promotes power. Covey urges his readers not to fall into a “state of competition”. The constant struggle for power and winning will drain you of your positive energy. Instead, it is important to widen your view, and grow your own creative approach.

One way the concept of ‘Think Win-Win’ is used at Achilles Group is in our Recruiting Effectiveness approach. Christina comments:

“We look at recruiting effectiveness as a way to describe a successful employment relationship. Applying Habit Four, requires that the immediate supervisor and employee engage in a relationship based on mutual trust and respect to ensure a win-win for both. Without this, the relationship becomes a statistic: most employees don’t leave ‘jobs’, they leave people. The most influential person the employee interacts with is the immediate supervisor. When the two parties engage in meaningful dialogue with trust and respect, it is easy to collaborate and find a win-win. When either party is not winning, it is up to the team to collaborate to find a win-win or decide that there is no deal. This may mean adjusting expectations, clarifying responsibilities, changing jobs within the organization, or ending the relationship.”

How do we choose to think win-win? It starts with our integrity and maturity, and it grows into a team-focused relationship. It is then nurtured by a company and system that supports it. Take a moment to consider and think about other people’s viewpoints. Only when we are courteous, respectful, and appreciative of others can we think win-win: pause when you speak and listen more. Focus your energy on creating your own positive creativity. Continue with this process until the other person realizes that you sincerely long for a true solution for both.

Next week, we will discuss the fifth Habit, “Seek First to Understand then be Understood”.

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