Think Win-Win: The Habit of Mutual Benefit!

Think Win-Win: The Habit of Mutual Benefit!

“Win-win is a frame of mind and heart that constantly seeks mutual benefit in all human interactions. 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

We have 100,000,000,000 neurons in our brains and each can connect to 10,000 of its neighbors. This is how we can have win-win. Recognizing that there are so many answers to the decisions and challenges of the world. Seeking first to understand the feelings, ideas, and solutions of our family, friends, and colleagues is the best way to start a win-win. Helping children to recognize that their way plus your way may be the best way. But it takes time and energy to stop an listen. I encourage us to find the time to create win-win experiences for our children. 

Mother’s Day was a great example of thinking win-win. If our families appreciate our mom’s often enough and express it with kindness and carefree timelessness, our mom’s are better mom’s. In the long run, when someone else wins, other’s do too. Thinking win-win is the only good alternative to healthy relationships. 

Practice

  • Heart – Speak to one another at the same eye level with a cheerful countenance – even when it’s hard.
  • Mind – Solve an equation together so that each person’s smarts can become the others’.
  • Body – Exercising together is a great encourager. 
  • Soul – Talk about personal dreams and how your family can help each person’s come true. As we look into the summer fun time this might be a very important conversation. 

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Sharpen the Saw: Be Strong in Key Moments

Sharpen the Saw: Be Strong in Key Moments

As you attempt to win your Daily Private Victory (AKA, sharpening your saw; heart, mind, body, & soul), you’ll encounter obstacles. These difficult, pivotal moments include such things as:
  • Getting up on time (“mind over mattress”)
  • Controlling your temper and not saying the unkind thing
  • Disciplining yourself to eat healthy foods
  • Sticking to your reading regimen when you are busy
When you discipline yourself to make it through these decisive moments, you will reap great rewards.
Ways to Practice
Heart – Spend some carefree timelessness with family and friends.
Mind – Tell your brain what you want to do. Skip the “try” word. Use “will”!
Body – Say yes to a good walk, meal, and night sleep.
Soul – Enter the classroom of silence and have a nice chat with yourself.
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Think Win-Win

Think Win-Win

Consider other people’s wins as well as your own!

Being a leader isn’t some grandiose episode in life. Leadership is doing the next right thing in the moments of life. Many moments of our day can be understood as opportunities for win-win. An abundance mentality improves self-worth and promotes positive relationships.


Win-win means that I …

  • value your needs and desires equally to my own.
  • seek mutual benefit.
  • cooperate rather than compete.
  • use courage and compassion when communicating.

Common (Incorrect) Paradigm

There is only so much, and the more you get, the less there is for me.

Highly Effective Paradigm

There is plenty out there for everyone and more to spare.

Highly Effective Practice

Celebrate other’s wins as well as your own!

At Home:

  • Do chores together.
  • Review the weekly calendar to find time for each person to do things they wish to.
  • Sit knee to knee to discuss challenging situations. 
  • Practice seeking first to understand, then to be understood.
  • Create an affirmation poster to celebrate victories for each member of the family. 

In the Classroom:

  • With student input, review the activity(ies) of the day/week. 
  • Remind students about making deposits in the Relationship Bank Account we have with each other.
  • Start by having a volunteer offer one thing another student did well during the activity/day/week. (Be sure to point out that each student may only receive one compliment.) 
  • Then, the recently complimented student will offer one thing someone else did well during the week.
  • Continue until everyone has given and received one compliment. 
  • Students may answer this prompt in their journals: If you have a relationship that needs improvement, what deposits will you make in the Relationship Bank Account?
What Gets Fed, Flourishes

What Gets Fed, Flourishes

What we feed grows and becomes something powerful. Putting our values and priorities first in our lives lets us live the life we wish for. I have been told that when I feel too busy that I am probably busy on things I shouldn’t be busy with. When we are focused on priorities in our heart, mind, body, and soul we tend to feel very satisfied with how we are spending our time and experience greater joy in life. Balancing life really means that we stop juggling our life. People who are good at saying no to quadrants three and four do a great job filling their time in quadrant two and are able to handle quadrant one episodes.

In last week’s habit, we talked about beginning with the end in mind. When we plan our week to the best of our knowledge, we tend to be at peace when saying no to opportunities that interrupt our plans. This is exactly what the word discipline means: to learn and habituate behaviors. Using a planning tool clarifies and maps how we want to spend our time. It gives us a pathway that leads to a healthier lifestyle: heart, mind, body, and soul.

Take time this week to review each area of your child’s life–heart, mind, body, and soul–and ask if there is enough time and effort placed on the things throughout the week.
Heart – relationships
Mind – academic success
Body – sleep, diet, & exercise/play
Soul – music & spiritual/personal development
Key Concepts from the “Leader in Me” Curriculum
Focus on your highest Priorities (Quadrant 2)Eliminate the unimportant (Quadrant 3 & 4)Plan your week.Stay true to your big rocks.
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Inventiveness: Begin With the End in Mind

Inventiveness: Begin With the End in Mind

Inventiveness is born in an environment that allows a mind to explore, experiment, dabble, play, risk, and fail. Playdough, legos, or lincoln logs aren’t just toys to pass the time. They provide a tool for the imagination and the development of essential critical thinking and reasoning skills for our future inventors, entrepreneurs, and engineers. Studying every subject in the curriculum encourages inventive thinking when the subject is treated with wonder and awe.
It is our role as parents and educators to present it that way. According to Tony Wagner, in his book Creating Innovators, there are three super “p’s” that are ingredients to creating our next generation of great American innovators – Play, Passion, and Purpose. When we allow our children to; use playful imagination, discover their personal passion, and provide purpose in creative endeavors – we fertilize the next generation of innovators. Innovation can be found within each of our heart, mind, body, or soul passions. Whether we are writing a poem, calculating in a spreadsheet, experimenting with a 3d printer, or beating on a drum, innovative thinking produces the wonders and awes of life. Let’s reinvigorate our enthusiasm this week by saying “yes” to the inventive ideas of our children and never robbing them from eureka moments! Allow eureka to spark within the minds of our children!
“It does seem to produce more creative results when there are limitations. It’s like in wartime with rations – people became more inventive with cooking.” – Laura Fraser
“Imagination is the highest kite one can fly.” – Lauren Bacall
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.” – Mark Twain
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Expand Your Circle of Influence

Expand Your Circle of Influence

How much time in your week do you spend on things you can’t influence? Our circle of influence includes things we can affect directly. Our circle of concern includes things we worry about but may have not control over. Proactive people change the world because they make conscious decisions to influence matters in ways that they have the ability to respond (their response-ability). People who put their focus on a circle of concern shrink their circle of influence.
More importantly, influencing life episodes with a positive attitude increases our circle of influence and nurtures healthy relationships. For some reason, we think that chewing someone’s head off is going to cause a positive outcome. Adding negative to any situation usually makes this situation worse and erodes the foundation of every relationship – trust. When situations are difficult and we choose to use frontal lobe thinking, problems are resolved and relationships improved. The math is simple. Add a negative to a negative and you get more negative. Add a positive to a negative and the number line moves to the right.  It is much easier to knock someone down than it is to lift them up, but lifting begets strength and health.
Here is a dialogue prompt you can use to discuss being proactive with your children.
  1. Think of a problem or an opportunity you have right now.
  2. Draw the two circles above and list actions that are of concern or influence.
  3. If something in the list is a concern, let it go.
  4. If it is something that can be influenced, be proactive.
  5. Discuss how proactive behavior can be acted out with a positive attitude and action.
Students who practice proactive behavior are able to ignore distractions, prioritize tasks, complete class assignments, and plan ahead. Academic, athletic, artistic, or any other intelligence will grow by focusing on the circle of influence and minimizing time and effort on areas of concern or distraction. Like every habit, it takes 3-20 times to turn it into a habit. Be patient, persistent, and positively proactive.
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