Habit #4 Think Win-Win

Posted on August 9, 2018 by Aisah in Be Better,Books


“This post is a summary for habit 4 of the book 7 habits of highly effective people. I think you can see this as a part of a series of blog-posts where I summarize the habits. It is my effort in finishing the book and hopefully bringing you some useful information.” Here we go:


While the first 3 habits deal with personal leadership and management. The fourth , fifth and sixth habit are habits for effective people dealing in all kinds of interdependent relations. Business relations, Family relations, Marriage are some examples. The fourth habit from 7 habits of effective people is to think win/win.

When you think win / win, your relation agreements and solutions feel like win/win. It is where all parties feel good about the decisions made and feel committed to the action plan. Win/Win is a belief in an alternative. It means it is not your way or my way. It is a better way , a higher way.

To think win / win you have to make certain shifts in your thinking. The best way to do that is to realize that are other situations and recognizing them. I’ve tried to kind of summarize them in this table

6 paradigms of human interactions

Paradigm of human interaction Explanation Example of thinking
Win/Win (Habit 4) Believe that everyone can win and constantly seek mutual benefit in human interactions Let’s say you want to go out to dinner but your friend want to see a movie. You can go for win-win, order take out and rent a movie.
Win/Lose If I win, you lose.” Win-Lose people are prone to use position, power, credentials, and personality to get their way. For example, an employer who will only hire when they feel a candidate has negotiated poorly and the salary is below market. This can have negative consequences such as a failure to obtain the most talented candidates
Lose/Win The reversed form from win/lose. When you are too quick to please. It means being a nice guy even if everyone steps on you “I lose/you win”

“I’m a peacemaker, I’ll do anything to keep the peace”

“Step on me everyone does”

Lose/Lose This when 2 stubborn people interact. And both want to “get back” at each other. It doesn’t matter if you yourself lose. As long as the other party also loses. For example: there was a divorce case when the judge directed the husband to sell all of the assets and turn half of the proceeds to the ex-wife. He sold a car well worth over $10000 for $50 and gave $25 to the wife. Both parties lose
Win This mentality thinks in terms of securing his own and leaving it to others to secure theirs. This is when there is no sense of contest or competition
Win/Win or No Deal If you can’t come up with a win/win solution you say no deal In a simple example. If your friend wants to go to the movie and you want to go out eating. And you both don’t want to give in. You don’t spend the evening together.

Character traits

According to the book. Win/Win is the optimum solution we should strive for if we want to have effective interdependent relationships. To think win/win you need to cultivate the following characteristics:

  • Integrity: The value we place on ourselves. Habits 1,2,3 help us maintain integrity. As we clearly identify our values and proactively plan, organize and execute around those values, we develop self-awareness and independent will biy making and keeping meaningful promises
  • Maturity: The ability to express one’s own feelings and convictions balanced with consideration for the thoughts and feelings of others. “I empathically understand but also courageously confront”
  • Abundance mentality: Believing the paradigm that there is plenty out there for everyone.

Practice Success Habit 4: Get yourself to start thinking Win-Win with this challenge

  • Think about an upcoming interactionwhere you’ll be attempting to reach an agreement or solution. Write down a list of what the other person is looking for. Next, write a list next to that of how you can make an offer to meet those needs.




A fellow-traveler of life figuring out the way. I like to share little nuggets of wisdom i found on this journey. blogger coder baker mom of 2


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