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Habit 4: Think Win-Win – principles of interpersonal leadership

Let’s continue our discussion of the “7 habits of highly effective people” written by Stephen Covey.

Win-win is another habit suggested by Stephen Covey in his famous book “7 habits of highly effective people”. Covey describes this paradigm as constantly seeking mutual benefit in interactions. Covey argues that most people think in terms of win-lose paradigm: “I win, you lose”. When you are dealing with people with win-lose paradigm, you need to listen more, try to understand and focus on the Circle of Influence. You make deposits into Emotional Bank Account through genuine courtesy, respect and appreciation. In most cases, this should help in establishing a mutually beneficial long-lasting relationship. Yet, occasionally this can mean that you never reach an agreement with another person and this is totally fine.

Win-win is the paradigm of successful people, people who are trusted, people who have good friends and good relationships with colleagues. This paradigm requires a strong character that is shaped by values and not external stimuli. Win-win paradigm allows for synergies when value is created for everyone and everyone benefits from cooperation. Character traits of win-win paradigm are integrity, maturity and abundance mentality. Integrity is about living according to our values and making and keeping commitments. Maturity is the balance between courage and consideration, increasing the long-term welfare of all stakeholders. A mature person expresses her own feelings while considering feelings of others. Abundance mentality is the idea that there is plenty of staff for everybody out there. We need to be genuinely happy for successes of other people. We also need to be generous in sharing recognition, profit and successes with our colleagues.

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