How to Become Successful With People

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The Habit #4 of Highly Effective people is to Think Win/Win.

This habit is a part of Public Victory. The first three habits together make up the Private victory that is the victory over self.

Private victory precedes public victory.

You can’t be successful with other people if you haven’t paid the price of success with yourself — Stephen Covey

The Emotional Bank Account

Stephen Covey likes this notion of The emotional bank account. Like the financial bank account, we all have what we call an emotional bank account in which we make deposits time to time through various acts of kindness and honesty.

By making the small deposits through courtesy and keeping commitments, I build a reserve of trust with you. Whereas if I do something to hurt you I make a withdrawal and you lose trust in me.

One thing to keep in mind is that building genuine trust and relationships takes time. If you are looking for quick fixes then stop looking. It doesn’t work like that. You have to genuinely care.

Six Major Deposits

There are six major deposits that you can make in your life everyday.

1. Understanding the Individual

Taking your time to understand someone is one of the biggest deposits you can make. By understanding someone, you can really get to know that person!

You will be able to see things from their point of view and understand their thought pattern. This also builds a huge trust between you two.

2. Attending to the Little Things

The little acts of kindness can have a profound effect on your relationship with a person. Doing things like helping others in small matters contributes to small deposits which when done regularly builds a huge trust.

3. Keeping Commitments

The key idea here is - don’t make promises you can’t keep.

As keeping a commitment is a major deposit, breaking one is a major withdrawal. It takes days and months to build trust but it only takes a moment to break it.

4. Clarifying Expectations

As we get to know people and get close to them we start to have expectations from them.

It can be between an employee and a manager. The employee may expect his boss to be responsible for something until he finds out that his manager expected him to be responsible.

Or it can be between a couple. Both husband and wife have different expectations with each other.

Hence, it’s good to clarify your expectations. Tell them what are you expecting from them and ask what are they expecting from you. By understanding each others’ expectations you can do things that result in deposits and prevent withdrawals.

5. Showing Personal Integrity

This one is very important. Personal Integrity means being true to yourself and showing your character. Integrity is showing who you are through your actions not just words.

Personal Integrity generates trust which results in major deposits.

6. Apologizing Sincerely when You Make a Withdrawal

If you are wrong, admit it quickly — Dale Carnegie

When you know that you have made a mistake or have broken someone’s trust, apologize to them sincerely. It may result in a withdrawal but it will definitely build your integrity with the other person.

He will know that stay accountable for yourself and admit your mistakes. Sometimes this can even result in a deposit because it takes a strong character to genuinely apologize.

Most people think that apologizing will make them look weak but its the other way round.

Now let’s talk about the real essence of Habit #4

The Six Paradigms of Human Interaction

1. Win/Win

Win/Win is a philosophy of human interaction. It means considering the mutual benefit of both the parties.

It is taking a look at the situation and ensuring that nobody feels sad about the deal.

It’s not your way or my way; it’s a better way, a higher way.

2. Win/Lose

This paradigm says for me to win someone else has to lose.

This is the kind of interaction can be seen in some families, the child who scores more is loved more by parents than the one who scores less.

It can also be seen in Academics where grading depends upon the relative performance of students. If you have got a higher grade, someone must have got a lower grade.

3. Lose/Win

This type of interaction is the giving up. It’s like saying “Ok, you win, do as you like” or “I lose because I always do”.

This is fairly common among miserable people and is even worse than Win/Lose. People with Win/Lose mentality love Lose/Win people, as they can easily beat them.

4. Lose/Lose

When two determined and ego driven people get into conflict, none of them allows the other to win. To beat the other person, they are even ready to lose themselves.

5. Win

People with Win mentality focuses on winning and does not care whether someone else wins or loses. It is mostly seen when there is no competition.

6. Win/Win or No Deal

This mentality says that if both of us can’t Win then No Deal is better.

Instead of going half pregnant on something, you either go all in or all out.

Which Mentality to Choose?

The answer to this question is- It depends.

In some situations like during an argument in a relationship, Lose/Win is preferred, because in a relationship if both people don’t Win then both lose.

The person going with the Lose/Win simply says — “My relationship with you is more important than what I want”.

In situations where cooperation of people is required, Win/Win is the way to go. Because together they can achieve something that they could never achieve on their own.

Building long lasting relationships with people takes time and effort. Be true to yourself and to others, don’t break someone’s trust or hurt them and always care for those who care for you.


I hope you got something better out of this post.

You can learn more about Win/Win ways of doing things by reading The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.

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