Giving and Taking: The Win/Win or No Deal Philosophy of Relationships

This is the last part of a series that I have been doing about the different paradigms of human interaction and relationships.

These paradigms are based on Stephen Covey’s book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Here are the other parts of the series.

Win/Win or No Deal

We are going to end with the Win/Win or No Deal philosophy.

“I only want to go for Win/Win. I want to win, and I want you to win. I wouldn’t want to get my way and have you not feel good about it, because downstream it would eventually surface and create a withdrawal. On the other hand, I don’t think you would feel good if you got your way and I gave in. So let’s work for a Win/Win. Let’s really hammer it out. And if we can’t find it, then let’s agree that we won’t make a deal at all. It would be better not to deal than to live with a decision that wasn’t right for us both. Then maybe another time we might be able to get together.”

The whole concept of Win/Win or No Deal is usually best applied to business relationships but in the kind of reality you’d like to create, anything less than Win/Win is not going to be beneficial to long-term relationships. What is hard in relationships is being able to accept the No Deal, because we confuse that as Lose/Lose. Being able to have this mentality requires a very high level of maturity, understanding and a great deal of listening and communication skills.

If you get a grasp on this, you will achieve such a level of emotional freedom and avoid so many conflicts down the road. This mentality also can be applied to the beginning stages of any relationship to give you the same emotional freedom and make you no longer needy.

Using the elements of Win/Win, if you can’t come to a good resolution, you should be able to accept No Deal and find an alternative. While great at the beginning of a relationship, it becomes harder and harder to accept a No Deal, especially when more feelings and emotional investment are involved. This is where compromise comes in. While compromise – which can be considered a secondary level of Win/Win – may appear to be Win/Win, it tends to end up being Win/Lose or Lose/Win in reality.

Of course, there will be times in a relationship when No Deal cannot work. For example, if she REALLY needs you for something and it could be very inconvenient for you but you know what? You have to do it, because you care for her and want her to be happy. Instead of thinking about how inconvenient it is and how that negative thinking makes you unhappy, reframe it and think about how happy she’ll be, how much fun you MAY have and how she’ll reward you down the road. Keeping that frame of mind will not make situations seem terrible, because in hindsight, it’s not.

Plus, you care about her, right? Part of that is being able to do selfless acts for the greater good.

If you haven’t realized by now, obviously all of these philosophies are not set in stone and there is some leeway, as many other things in life – but it requires maturity, integrity and self-control to acknowledge the give some things have.

In the end, this whole Giving & Taking series is all about knowing how the pieces fit in a relationship. You have to know what and how much you are willing to give to your significant other and what you are ready to accept from her. It’s about sacrifice. It’s about understanding. It’s about making time. It’s about giving yourself. It’s about learning. It’s about growing together. It’s about disagreements. It’s about resolution. It’s about…everything.

I write those things and I think of my girlfriend. She embodies everything that I want in a woman and the best part is that I feel more like myself at this time more than any time in the past few years. She is growing to become more than just something to me. She’s becoming everything to me. And as I wrote this series, she was always in the back of my mind, wondering about how well we do together. She’s amazing and although it’s still early, I hope you guys (and girls) can read this, possibly learn something (I’ve learned a lot writing this) and you can find something even remotely close to what I have now because let me tell you something.

It’s incredible.

This caps the Giving & Taking series here at Project Infinity. I would love to hear feedback, questions and comments you may have. If you’d like to contact me, feel free to send me an email.

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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.

Tomorrow, 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.

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