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.

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