Think Win-Win

Our Leader in Me habit this week is Think Win-Win! How can we think win-win when an episode in life is difficult or defeating?  I had two children come to me this morning, both experiencing a lose-win situation on the playground. Each of them felt left-out and alone from friends. One of the most common challenges for kids is to recognize that they may have disrespected a peer and “put them down” emotionally. Thinking win-win is a conscious choice that takes time to mature. People who are naturally interpersonal find this relatively easy and express empathy and compassion without much thinking. But when it isn’t natural, it must be nurtured.

“Win-win is a frame of mind and heart that constantly seeks mutual benefit in all human interaction. Win-win is based on the paradigm that there is plenty for everybody – that one person’s success is not achieved at the expense of others.” – Stephen Covey

The two ingredients to nurturing thinking win-win are compassion and courage. In equal measure, these ingredients cause a win-win result. If I am proactive, beginning with the end in mind, and putting first things first then the natural result will be to think win-win. Compassion helps me to win the trust of a friend and my courage helps me to do the next right thing. Kids need to recognize that the end in mind should be that we lift our family and friends up and not to join them when they act down. One of my children’s least favorite phrases I used when they were bickering was “home court”. It was a simple phrase that reminded them that if they are being a fan of the home team then they ought to be cheering encouraging words and not put-downs.

Thinking win-win means that:

  • we believe in the abundance of goodness in the people around us,
  • we balance compassion and courage
  • we consider how we can cause a win for others as well as ourselves.

Believing that there is plenty of wins to go around can help nurture a bit of compassion and courage to go find it.

Learning Links

Almond Acres Charter Academy accepting K-8 students

Jan. 15 marks the start of Almond Acres Charter Academy’s open enrollment period for the 2019-2020 school year. During this time, those interested in attending Almond Acres Charter Academy (AACA) next year are encouraged to submit a request for enrollment which can be found on the AACA website Requests for K-8th grade are being accepted. Open enrollment will extend through March 15. If at the end of open enrollment there are more applicants than spaces available in any grade level, then a random public lottery will take place on Thursday, March 28, 2019. After March 15, requests will be taken and classes will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

AACA is hosting campus tours and enrollment presentations in the coming months. These will provide the opportunity to meet with Executive Director, Bob Bourgault, and learn about AACA’s philosophy and framework.

Campus Tours and Enrollment Presentations at AACA (1601 “L” Street in San Miguel):

  • Jan. 24 at 8 a.m.
  • Feb. 21 at 8 a.m.
  • March 7 at 8 a.m.
  • March 14 at 8 a.m.

For more information, visit the AACA website at or call the office at (805) 467-2095.

Via: Paso Robles Daily News

Begin with the End in Mind

How can we help our children to make good decisions? They are pummeled with choices every day and encouraged to make decisions about those choices. Smart, successful, and happy people use a clear and thoughtful process when making a decision. People usually say that they “weigh out the choices” and choose the best one. Well, what does that really mean? A few more specifics can be very helpful. I believe that any process that can be described using five or fewer steps we can remember and make a habit.
We teach our students the following five steps to make a good decision. Essentially, we begin with the end in mind.

  1. Describe specifically what the need or want is.
    • I need to purchase a …
    • I need to consider being friends with …
    • I want to eat …
    • I want to listen to or watch …
  2. Determine what personal/family values are relevant or important to the decision.
    • Health, family, faith, intelligence, security, …
    • What is good, true, and right. 
  3. Rate which values are most important to the decision.
    •  Determining what values are meaningful or critical helps to make it easier to eliminate options and narrow down good choices.
    • Give the values a rating from 1-10 (10 being extremely valuable). Values can have equal ratings.
  4. Compare the options to the values.
    1. Score each option by how well it meets the value. Use a 1-10 score.
    2. Do the math. Multiply the value rating by the score to get a final score for that option. If an option fails to meet the values, it’s probably not the best choice.
  5. Make a decision and feel confident that it was the best choice because it matches what is important to you.

The Rotary Club uses “The Four-Way Test” when considering decisions they make.  It is a nonpartisan and nonsectarian ethical guide for Rotarians to use for their personal and professional relationships. The test has been translated into more than 100 languages, and Rotarians recite it at club meetings:

Of the things we think, say or do…

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned? 

Use the Pause Button

“While thumbing through a book, I came across an idea that changed my whole outlook – between what happens to us and our response is a space, and the key to our growth and happiness is how we use that space. ” – Stephen Covey
This week’s habit brings us back to the first of “The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People”, Be Proactive. It’s a perfect idea to reiterate as we start a new calendar year. Our focus this week is the Pause Button. This is the button that lies between an event and our response to that event. Our decision to be reactive or proactive is how carefully we push the pause button and allow ourselves to do the next right thing. Pausing can take a second but could mean walking away for a few moments from a tense situation to settle down.
However long it takes, the pause allows us to think more clearly and not respond from our emotional brain, but instead think and act from our intelligence. When we pause, we use the following four human gifts:
  • Self-awareness (I know what makes me tick)
  • Conscience (I know what is good and right)
  • Independent will (I have the power to make my own decisions)
  • Imagination (I can be creative in my choice of responses).
Here are some examples of using the pause button:
  • Heart – Pause and consider how the other person might be feeling or thinking before acting.
  • Mind – Ask questions that will cause your child to “do the math” before making a hasty decision. Avoid providing the answer!
  • Body – Gently breathe before venturing into a physical skill that requires concentration and focus.
  • Soul – Use a “time out” to have a child reflect on what the better version of themselves would do in a challenging situation.
It is a common practice to react based on our moods, feelings, and circumstances. Proactive people pause and respond base on principles, values, and goals. Pausing gives you the freedom to choose your response and allows the intellect of your brain to make good choices. That freedom expands opportunities and leads to win-win conclusions.