HABIT FOUR – THINK “WIN/WIN”
Once we’ve mastered the first three habits, we’re ready to move from the “private victory” to the “public victory.” Self and self-discipline are the foundation of good relationships s others.
We all know what a financial bank account is. If we make de is in it, money will be there for us to withdraw when we need it. The Emotional Bank Account is a metaphor that describes the
amount of trust that’s been built up in a personal relationship. If into an account with you through courtesy, kindness, honesty, and keeping my commitments to you, I build up a
reserve. Your trust for me becomes higher, and I can call on it III need to; I can even make mistakes, and that trust level will compensate for it. Communication is easy, instant, and
But if I have a habit of showing discourtesy, disrespect, cutting you off, overreacting, betraying your trust, or threatening you, my account gets overdrawn. The trust level is low; what
flexibility do I have?
None. I am walking on mine fields. I’m politicking; I have to measure every word. Many organizations and many marriages are like this.
The fourth habit, “Think win/win,” entails making an important deposit in another person’s Emotional Bank Account: finding a way both of you can benefit by your interaction. All the
other possibilities – win/lose (I win, you lose), lose/win (I lose, you win), and lose/lose – are ineffective, either in the short term or the long term.
The best way to approach Win/Win dealing is to remember that it (like all agreements) embodies a caveat: The complete description is “Win/win – or no deal.” Your attitude should
be, “I want to win, and I want you to win, If we can’t hammer something out under those conditions, let’s agree that we won’t make a deal this time. Maybe we’ll make one in the future.”
The president of a computer software company told me of the time he’d signed a five-year contract to supply software to a bank. The bank president was enthusiastic about the deal, but
his people weren’t A month later, the bank changed presidents.
The new president came to the software company president and said, “I am uncomfortable with these software conversions. My people are unhappy, and I have a mess on my hands.”
The computer company was already in financial trouble at the time. It had every legal right to enforce its contract. But the software company president responded: “We have a contract. But
we understand you’re not happy about it. We’ll return your contract and your deposit, and if you’re ever looking for a software solution in the future, come back and see us.” He walked
away from an $84,000 contract. It might look like financial suicide, but he figured he didn’t want to create an unhappy customer, and his attention to principle would pay off somehow.
Three months later, the new president called back. He was ready to put in a new software system. They signed a contract for $240,000. If a deal hurts them, it will hurt you.
Using the paradigm of Win/Win requires three traits:
• Integrity – We define integrity as the value we place on ourselves: We need to be self-aware, possessed of an independent will. We make and keep meaningful promises and
commitments to our selves and others.
• Maturity – This is the balance between courage and consideration. Simply put, you must have enough empathy and goodwill to work for a win for your counterpart, and enough courage to make a win for yourself.
• Abundance Mentality – You must know and believe that there is plenty out there for everybody. Many people don’t: They think that to succeed themselves, others must fail. They harbor secret hopes that other people must suffer misfortune – not terrible misfortune, but acceptable misfortune that Will keep them in their place. The Abundance Mentality recognizes that possibilities for growth and success are potentially limitless, and sees in others the opportunity to complement its own strengths.
Win/win is a powerful management tool. Drucker recommends using the “manager’s letter” to define the performance agreement between boss and employee. Alter a thorough discussion of expectations, guidelines, and resources, the employee writes a letter to the manager summarizing the discussion and setting the date for the following review.
With the agreement in place, the employee can manage himself within the framework of the agreement. The manager becomes like the pace car at an auto race: He gets things going and
gets out of the way. His job from then on is to remove the oil spills. When the boss becomes the first assistant to each subordinate, he increases his span of control. Entire levels of
administration can be eliminated, and he can double or triple his managerial leverage. I once consulted for a company that wanted me to train their retail people in human relations:
They said the employees on the selling floor were rude. I went to their stores, and indeed, the sales help were rude. I wondered why. “Look, we’re on top of the problem,” the company president said. “The department heads are out there setting a great example: Their job is two- thirds selling and one-third management.
They’re outselling everyone. Just train the sales help to sell, too.” But I went back to the store for more data. It turned out that managers (who got sales commissions) were sending the sales help into the back to take care of cleaning and inventory, stepping behind the cash register and “creaming” every sale, except during the store’s most frantic periods. That’s why they were outselling their employees. We replaced that win/lose compensation system with win/win: We changed the rules so that managers only made money when the sales staff made money. The sales clerks’ attitude problem disappeared overnight.