Giving and Taking: The Win/Win Philosophy of Relationships


When you go into a situation with a Win/Win attitude, like it states, everyone wins. As Stephen Covey wrote in his book,

“Win/Win means that agreements or solutions are mutually beneficial, mutually satisfying. With a Win/Win solution, all parties feel good about the decision and feel committed to the action plan. Win/Win sees life as a cooperative, not a competitive arena.”

If you haven’t noticed, it’s not about the actual Win/Win situation of an interaction. It’s the Win/Win mentality. It’s never about you getting your way or her getting her way. It’s about the best way for the two of you.

In a relationship, you two are a team. You are working together to better the lives of each other. If you two are working in a cooperative environment, you two can get so much more done and have that much more fun. Like a business relationship, if you two can agree on something that will be beneficial to both parties, then there is a good chance for it to happen again.

Creating the Win/Win relationship starts with yourself. Your character will determine if you’ll even be capable with maintaining that kind of relationship. Your character is made up of three things.

Integrity. Knowing what your values are is important here. It should be important to you at all times. The more important part of this is being aware of your commitments and responsibilities. If you can’t keep these promises to yourself, then you’ll be unable to keep them to others and especially the one you care about the most.

Maturity. It’s defined in the book as the balance between courage and consideration. The more consideration and the more courage you have the more of a Win/Win mentality can occur. Most guys develop consideration much before their courage in a relationship. They are willing to cater to all of the woman’s needs – which in a very few cases, is ok. But let’s be honest, many of those times you must feel as though you are making a huge sacrifice and are losing – only for the greater good of what? Your relationship? As much as you think she may actually Win, she doesn’t. She loses so much more than she gains by your giving up your integrity, your courage and your maturity.

On the flipside, as you begin to understand women more, you develop your courage but then lose sight of your consideration. So yeah, you feel more confident about yourself and your approach to women but it doesn’t mean you should forget what your mother taught you about how to treat women.

I’ll be the first to admit, sometimes you can “short circuit” and lose some of that maturity. A major part of the maturation process is finding out, understanding why it happened, accepting your fault and making sure it NEVER happens again.

Abundance Mentality. This is the mentality that there is enough out there for everyone. In this case, I am not talking about the abundance of women – although you should know that there is. In relationships, there is so much to share and you should be prepared and willing to share and accept all that you have. All of your joy, knowledge and fulfillment that you possess should be projected outward – because you have so much. When you have so much to give, then you are less worried about what you are taking. In effect, you actually get so much more, without knowing. It’s an abstract mentality but that really is the essence of the abundance mentality.

Once you are in tune with your star player, then you can develop better relationships. Part of it is letting people know that both parties can win if you can create a plan for getting what you both want. You both want to be happy, and then you two can work as a team to make that happen. In relationships, just like business, your character and the relationship you have will determine the success of your agreements.

It all comes down to this, if you and your partner can communicate to each other the kind of results each of you want, what’s needed and the process necessary to get it done and the issuing of responsibility, based on your values and level of maturity, there will be no reason why your relationship can have the satisfaction, joy and fulfillment that you can have in other aspects of your life.

In the next post, we will get into another, maybe not-so-ideal philosophy, Win/Lose and understand where it comes from, how it can possibly be beneficial in the short-term and how you can convert to the Win/Win philosophy in the long run.