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Win/Win Solutions - The Role of Collaboration in Resolving Problems

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Think Win Win:

Win Win is a strategy where two parties think of mutual benefits. It is that both should win and see the positive outcomes.

The desired ideal end state in Win/Win is the approach of one trying to win himself as well the opponent no matter in what situation. It is not easy to reach a Win/Win state but if one can find the way to get away from all the other paradigms of life and reach a Win/Win situation, then it’s beneficial for everyone.

It is a situation where benefits are equally beneficial for everyone working in a corporation or generally in team.

It is the habit of creating effective interpersonal leadership.

In order to manage a relationship with others, we need to think Win Win.

Win Win is basically investing in others’ emotional bank account, that is


When working in a team, one thinks about each member’s success rather than just thinking about oneself.

You recently got a promotion at a restaurant you work, instead of praising your own self, you share the recognition and praise with all the members who work with you.

You are selected to be become the class representative at your university. You plan to make everyone better, especially the weak students, because you want all your class mates to succeed.

Paradigms of Human interaction

There are six paradigms for human interaction, from which win win has already been discussed above

  • Win/Win (discussed above)
  • Win/Lose
  • Lose/Win
  • Lose/Lose
  • Win
  • Win/Win or No Deal

Win/Lose: It is more like an authoritarian style of leadership where the leader mostly thinks about himself rather than the group as whole. It is basically competitive approach in which one has to win, and the other has to lose.

Example: business is often win-lose as hundreds of firms may compete in an industry with two or three emerging with most of the profits.

Lose/Win: An approach where one thinks about others’ success even if he himself loses. It has no expectations, demands, or vision. People usually take advantage of someone who follows this strategy. This is a totally ineffective strategy in business.

Example: When a person gives away his job position to someone else just for the other person’s happiness.

Lose/Lose: An approach where all parties end up being worse off. Basically it occurs when both parties are stubborn and egoistic. Usually ends as lose for both dealing with it.

Example: A situation where a mom asked her stubborn son to divide 60 rupees equally with his sister. Instead of getting her the same amount, he tore the 50 rupees bill and divided 10 rupees.

Win: An Approach where a person wants to win for himself and leave others on their own.

Example: It is basically an everyday negotiation.

Win/Win or No Deal: Approach where the two parties agree/ disagree on the outcomes if the results don’t benefit them both.

Example: If the nature of the sale is not going to meet the client’s objectives and be sustainable for my company, I need to be prepared to walk away.

Issues Related to the Win/Win

Win/Win is the most effective way in many cases, but again there are two things, compare and competing, that lead to negative consequences. This also leads to unsuccessful approaches.

Life is like a great obstacle course. Each person has their own course, separated from every other course by tall walls. Your course comes complete with customized obstacles designed specifically for your personal growth.

So what good does it do to climb the wall to see how well your neighbor is doing or check out his obstacles in comparison to your own

Basically, competition occurs when there is comparison. Everyone wants to stay on top of the trends and for this, people usually seem to show other’s down, taking the Win/lose approach even if it is not effective in that situation.

Even when people are working in the Win Win situation, where there is mutual benefit, sometimes they might start comparing each other because everyone is not same after all.

Major Causes

There are several causes that lead to comparison and competition that diverts people in a Win/Win situation. According to Alan Davidson, in the article Why do I constantly compare myself to others? What causes this and how can one stop? there are two types of comparison. The compare up and compare down. Compare up simply means you start thinking that others are better than you especially in a group. You may think that you don’t fit with others or you don’t have enough. Whereas, compare down is basically making fun of others who lack the ability to do something you can do or praising yourself among your mates or others. Both the situations then lead to competition, and yet break the environment of Win/Win situation. It may either result in Win/Lose or Lose/Lose situation. When it comes to trends, of course it is a human nature, we all want to look better than others even if we are working as a one team. Also when it comes to comparison when working in a group or a company, it might alter the decisions that were to be for mutual benefit.

It is very difficult to handle a Win/Win situation. The hardest part is often step one, when using win-win solution-building. You’ll need to practice dealing with any issue that comes up because you might feel a tug of war emerging at any time, that is, any time that each of you is pulling for a different plan of action.

Once the both of you have succeeded in generating a full list of underlying concerns, that’s when a win-win solution can become very creative and fun.

There are a few steps to be followed to handle the issues with the win/win situation.

  1. Separate the people from the problem.
  2. Focus on interests, not positions.
  3. Invent options for mutual gain.
  4. Use objective criteria.
  5. Know your best alternative to a negotiated agreement.

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