Habit 4- Think Win-Win


Think win-win is an attitude toward life, a mental frame of mind that says I can win, and so can you. Itís not me or you, itís both of us. Think win-win is the foundation for getting along well with other people. It begins with the belief that we are all equal, that no one is inferior or superior to anyone else, and no one really needs to be. So letís explore this strange idea called Think win-win. The best way to do this is to see what win-win is not.


Win-Lose: The Totem Pole

Win-lose is an attitude toward life that says the pie of success is only so big, and if you get a big piece there is less for me. So, Iím going to make sure I get my slice first or that I get a bigger piece than you. Win-lose is competitive. It is the totem pole syndrome. ďI donít care how good I am as long as Iím a notch higher than you on the totem pole.Ē Relationships, friendships, and loyalty are all secondary to winning the game, being the best, and having it your way. A win-lose attitude wears many faces. The following are some of them:

In the end win-lose will usually backfire. You may end up on the top of the totem pole. But youíll be there alone and without friends.


Lose-Win: The Doormat

Lose-win is just as dangerous as win-lose. Itís the doormat syndrome. Lose-win says, ďHave your way with me. Wipe your feet on me. Everyone else does.Ē Lose-win is weak. Itís easy to get stepped on. Itís easy to give in, all in the name of being a peacemaker. With a lose-win attitude youíll find yourself setting low expectations and compromising your standards again and again. Giving in to peer pressure is lose-win.

There is a time to lose, of course. Lose-win is just fine if the issue isnít that important to you. Let others win the little issues, just be sure you take a stand on the important things.


Lose-Lose: The Downward Spiral

Lose-lose says, ďIf Iím going down, then youíre going down with me, sucker.Ē After all, misery enjoys company. Revenge is a great example of lose-lose. By getting revenge, you may think youíre winning, but youíre really only hurting yourself.

Lose-lose is usually what happens when two win-lose people get together. If you want to win at all costs, and the other person wants to win at all costs, youíre both going to end up losing. Lose-lose can occur when someone becomes obsessed with another person in a negative way. If youíre not careful, boyfriend-girlfriend relationships can sour into lose-lose. Things go well at first, but eventually they become emotionally glued and codependent. They begin to get jealous and possessive. They constantly need to be together, to touch, to feel secure, as if they own the other person. They begin to fight, argue, and ďget back atĒ each other, resulting in a downward spiral of lose-lose.


Win-Win: The All You Can Eat Buffet

Win-win is a belief that everyone can win. Itís both nice and tough all at once. I wonít step on you, but I wonít be your doormat either. You care about other people and you want them to succeed. But you also care about yourself, and you want to succeed as well. Win-win is abundant. It is the belief that thereís plenty of success to go around. Itís not either you or me. Itís both of us. Itís not a matter of who gets the biggest piece of pie. Thereís more than enough food for everyone. Itís an all you can eat buffet. You probably do more win-win thinking than you give yourself credit for. The following are all examples of the win-win attitude:


How to Think Win-Win

It all begins with you. If you are extremely insecure it will be difficult to think win-win. Youíll be threatened by other people. Itíll be hard to be happy for their successes. It will be difficult to share recognition or praise. Insecure people get jealous very easily. Personal security is the foundation for thinking win-win.


Avoid the Tumor Twins

There are two habits that, like tumors, can slowly eat you away from the inside. They are twins and their names are competing and comparing. Itís virtually impossible to think win-win with them around: competing and comparing.



Competition can be extremely healthy. It drives us to improve, to reach and to stretch. Without it, we would never know how far we could push ourselves. Competition is healthy when you compete against yourself, or when it challenges you to reach and stretch and become your best. Competition becomes dark when you tie your self-worth into winning or when you use it as a way to place yourself above another.



Comparing is competitionís twin. And just as cancerous. Comparing yourself to others is nothing but bad news. Why? Because weíre all on different development timetables. Socially, mentally, and physically. Think of it this way: Life is like a great obstacle course. Each person has their own course, separated from every other course by tall walls. Your course comes complete with customized obstacles designed specifically for your personal growth. So what good does it to do climb the wall to see how well your neighbor is doing or to check out his obstacles in comparison to your own? Comparing yourself can become an addiction as strong as drugs or alcohol.



Habit 4- Think Win-Win Ė Worksheet


1. Define the attitude of Win-Lose: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.


2. List three characteristics of people that have a win-lost attitude:

  1. _______________________________________________________________________________.
  2. _______________________________________________________________________________.
  3. _______________________________________________________________________________.


3. With a lose-win attitude youíll find yourself setting low _______________________ and compromising your ____________________________________ again and again.


4. Lose-lose it usually what happens when two _________________________________ people get together.


5. What is the belief of people with a win-win attitude? ______________________________________________________________________________________.


6. Name one example of a win-win attitude: ______________________________________________________________________________________.


7. What is the foundation for thinking win-win: ________________________________________________.


8. In this module what are described as the tumor twins: __________________________________ and ___________________________________________.


9. Competition becomes dark when you tie your ______________________________ into winning or when you use it as a way to place _____________________________ above another.


10. Comparing yourself can become an _________________________ as strong as drugs or alcohol.


11. Pinpoint the area of your life where you most struggle with comparisons. Perhaps itís with clothes, physical features, friends, or talents.

Where Iím struggling most with comparisons: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.


12. Think about your general attitude toward life. Is it based on Win-Lose, Lose-Win, Lose-Lose, or Win-Win thinking? How is that attitude affecting you?______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.


13. Think of a person who you feel is a model of Win-Win. What is it about this person you admire?

Person: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


14. What I admire most about them: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.