Winning doesn’t have to be at someone’s expense. Instead of focusing on what you want, focus on how much you can accomplish together.
You may be thinking, “If I don’t advocate for myself, who will?” The answer is simple. Rather than focusing solely on your needs, identify opportunities where you can mutually benefit. In other words, think win-win rather than winner-take-all.
Win-win is cooperative, not competitive.
10 practical ways to create mutually beneficial relationships
#1. Change your outlook.
Shift your mindset from me to we — selfish to selfless.
#2. Listen before you speak.
Don’t assume you know what people want. Make it your business to find out.
#3. Pinpoint areas of mutual interest.
Identify common goals and areas of synergy.
#4. Select opportunities where everyone benefits.
Opportunities don’t have to be large. Small wins help to build momentum while you pursue long-term goals.
#5. Focus on the journey as well as the destination.
Fight the tendency to focus solely on results.
First, get to know each other and build trusting relationships — transparency, honesty, and respect are key.
#6. Secure buy-in.
Never force your preferences on others. Work together to create commitment.
#7. Abide by the “shoe-on-the-other-foot” rule.
Put yourself in each other’s shoes to ensure that you’re being fair and equitable. Ask yourself whether you’d be happy to trade places with them.
#8. Make sure everyone benefits.
If the benefits of a relationship become too lopsided, consider adjustments or changing course.
#9. Don’t keep score.
There will be periods when benefits are not equal, but over the long term, things work out. Will it come out evenly? Probably not. But this isn’t a competition.
#10. Think long term.
Never win at the expense of the relationship.
This post is adapted from The Path to a Meaningful Life by Frank Sonnenberg.
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Frank Sonnenberg is an award-winning author and a well-known advocate for moral character, personal values, and personal responsibility. He has written nine books and has been named one of “America’s Top 100 Thought Leaders.”
Additionally, his blog — FrankSonnenbergOnline — has attracted millions of readers and was recently named one of the “Top Self-Improvement and Personal Development Blogs” in the world.