Do You Win or Do We Win?

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It is an obsession across cultures, sports, politics, businesses, you name it. If I win, you lose. There is no common goal or understanding. There is only I WIN.

There are, of course, different definitions of winning for different situations, players, and time. By time, I mean that no “win” is permanent.
  • The Romans won until the Goths won.
  • The Royalty of France won until the Revolution….and then there was Napoleon….he won until he didn’t.
  • The Russian Czars won until the Revolution, and that Revolution won until it collapsed.
  • Alta Vista (a search engine, for those of you who remember…) won….until Google.

…And so on. You get the idea. Adversarial relationships are transactional and binary. Conversational relationships are….well  relational. They are more collaborative toward arriving at a solution or goal that all can agree upon and is mutually beneficial (I know, the devil is in the details and the particular path taken….). Agree upon a needed change or vision, then begin the HARD WORK of developing a shared dialogue on how to get there.

Now the WIN is “We all get there!”, not “I get there and you don’t!”

We Win is the spirit behind truly valuable business relationships. Customers, colleagues, business organizations (chambers of commerce, professional associations, networking groups, and so on…), and service organizations, to name just a few. If the goal is I Win, innovation is stifled, business is lost, customers go elsewhere, referrals dry up, and your community becomes a community of one….just you.


Keep an open mind.

Have a dialogue instead of a parsed discussion.

Begin figuring out the difference between “your opinions and points of view” and “truths.” Truths exist, contrary to many opinions today, and they can be verified and accepted. Building on them to create a new solution to a common problem will actually get all parties to WE WIN!


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