We all want to win. No one gets up in the morning and decides, “Today, I think I’d like to lose for a change.” You never tell your spouse, “Honey, I’m so used to losing that today, I’m managing expectations. My goal is to lose. That way, when I lose, I’m a winner!” We use terms like Win-Win because if we win, we’re more than happy for others to win too. It’s human nature. I’ll let you win if it helps me win. Isn’t that what Win-Win is all about?
Who do you trust?
Think for a moment about the people you trust the most. Got a picture of them in your mind? What is it about them that inspires you to trust them? Somewhere very near the top of the list is the thought that they are “for” you. They understand your best interests and demonstrate a willingness to work in your best interests. The people you trust the most are people you believe would work for your best interest even if it didn’t mean they would directly benefit. In fact, if you’re like most people, you trust people to the degree that you think they care for you regardless of the results for them.
By the same token, we tend to trust least where we believe people are “in it” for themselves more than we are in the relationship for ourselves. There’s almost a balance or an honor among thieves if we’re both in the relationship for what we can individually get out of it. Many relationships exist on that principle.
Give Win First
But true Win-Win begins when someone else gives win first. In order for you to demonstrate that you are worthy of trust, you must give win first. When you can make the other person a winner, they will trust you and want to reciprocate. We trust people most when we believe they are truly for us more than they are for themselves.
Trust lubricates relationships and interactions. We are free to do and be our best around people we trust. Rather than bemoan the lack of trustworthy people today, work to make sure you’re trustworthy. Examine your key relationships with your leaders, peers, collaborators and teammates. How can you give win first? How can you provide overwhelming evidence that you’re trustworthy? Constantly grow your trustworthiness and improve the performance of everyone you influence. That’s the kind of trend our world needs today.