Think Win Win How It Can Be Helpful For Project Managers?

Think Win Win is a Habit # 4 explained by Stephen Covey in his extraordinary book called 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Just for those who unfortunately do not know about this book, 7 habits of Highly Effective People is a self-improvement book in which, you will find the way we see the world is entirely based on our own perceptions. In order to change the situation, we must change ourselves, and for that we must need to change our perceptions. This book will actually help you to work on 7 habits that will ensure you a success in any path of your life.

We present the lesson learned noted especially for project managers from this very useful habit called Think Win-Win. But before that let us have some light on Covey’s six paradigms of human interaction. Covey explains in his book that there are six possible paradigms of human interaction:

Six paradigms of human interactions explained by Stephen Covey

  1. Win-Win: Where both people win. Contracts or clarifications are mutually beneficial and satisfying to both parties. For instance, you are the project manager of solution provider and interacting with client on timelines to deliver it. Win-Win tactics will help you to get most benefits result where both you and your client will get the advantages.
  2. Win-Lose: Where one will lose and another will win. These people are inclined to to use position, power, credentials, and personality to get their way. Such as, you use your strong matrix power on your team to finish the bunch of tasks in lesser duration. It can bring the benefit for some time but ultimately will not be helpful to make a healthy relationship with your team.
  3. Lose-Win: Where I will lose and you will win. These people use their ability to quickly please and settle, plus seek strength from admiration and acceptance.
  4. Lose-Lose: Where both people lose. It happens when two Win-Lose people interacts together. For example, you having a strong personality interacting with another popular senior person in the organization on finalizing the solution for client might get stuck in lose-lose situation. One of you will need to be on lower side to either make Win-Lose or Win-Win situation.
  5. Win: Losing side for these people is irrelevant. They get what they want.
  6. Win-Win or No Deal: If you can’t reach a promise that is mutually beneficial, there is no deal.

Why Win-Win interaction is helpful for project managers?

All other interaction tactics such as Win-Lose, Lose-Lose or Lose-Win demand one of the party to be on losing side by having either influence of power, position or personality. Contrarily, Win-Win asks both people to focus on the mutual benefits in interactions. It requires both parties to involve a positive mindset. It ultimately will allow both people to enjoy the equal portion of the outcome expecting at the end of interaction.

Now being project manager, you will face many situations in each phase of the project life cycle with such interactions with people related to different levels and strengths on communication matrix. For example in initial phase, you might need to interact with your sales team to discuss the issues in pre-sales activities and its possible impacts on delivery phase. Or you might need to interact with tough client to break the ice regarding production delay due to internal issues.

Since communication is a major part of your job as project manager, your life should be full of interaction. For same reasons, you must learn this effective Habit # 4 Think Win-Win of Stephen Covey. It will help you a lot in your project’s communications.

4 Tips for Project Managers to master in Win-Win interaction

  1. To get master in Win-Win interaction, you need to know that it demands the high consideration and high courage while interacting. As Stephen Covey quotes that
“To go for Win-Win, you not only have to be nice, you have to be courageous.”
  1. While working on Win-Win approach, you must belief that there is many thing to achieve for everyone. Richness instead of scarceness needs to be present and practice mentally in this situation.
  2. Align yourself with results not technique or if in negotiation, focus on problem not individuals.
  3. Very importantly, Win-Win situation cannot be maintained in competition. If you want to have the Win-Win situation then goals and standards have to be aligned accordingly.

That’s all the learning we noted as project managers for you from Habit # 4 Think Win-Win of Stephen Covey’s book 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Strongly recommend go through this beautiful book and learn many other aspects of successful and effective people. Let us know your feedback and suggestions in following comments section.

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