Win-for-all does not mean compromising.
Most of us have learned that if we want to create a win-for-all, we need to compromise. Meaning that everyone involved has to give up some of what they want. From our perspective, this is a lose-lose strategy that lives below the line. Here’s why:
Compromise—which can be attractive because it’s a fairly cut and dry negotiating process—is generally quick, but tends to lead to future drama. People who compromise often end up feeling bitter and/or entitled because they settled for something they didn’t want. A sure sign that a compromise was made is that the issue lives on in conversation, often coming up sideways and leaking into other issues and interactions.
A true win-for-all solution requires us to open to new ways of thinking and seeing. We have to step into the unknown, which isn’t entirely comfortable. It takes time and creativity to come up with options where all parties get their needs met. This up front investment bears fruit in the form of the lack of drama down the road. You’ll know when you’ve created a true win-for-all solution when the issue you’ve resolved doesn’t come up anymore. Everyone got what they needed and can move on, drama free.
We find that when everyone on a team or in an organization feels like they are getting what they most want, colleagues feel a sense of “ we," instead of "us versus them." We’re convinced that the high rates of organizational disengagement in the U.S. are influenced by a lack of win-for-all thinking. Many employees we speak with believe that leadership wins at their expense, and they consequently infer that their contributions aren’t valued, resulting in lackluster engagement, productivity, and morale.
This month, we encourage you to speak to those you lead and find out if there are places where win-for-all thinking could provide value. Join us on our next call to learn how to move from below the line compromise to above the line win-for-all solutions.