Win-Win Partnerships By Stephen R.
Covey While reading the book, Gandhi, the Man, I was profoundly influenced by the account of this principle-centered leader. In the book, Gandhi described what he found to be the secret of all success. He said, in effect, "It's win-win-to always seek the interests of all parties." His leadership role was not to add fuel to the adversarial fighting and feuding, but rather to be a peacemaker and to create solutions for all parties that were better than any of those proposed initially. At the same time, I was working with an organization that was going through a very tough time. The leaders of the company acknowledged that there were bad feelings on all sides, and that some people inside and outside the company were winning at the expense of the people doing the real work of making the products and supplying the services. So I visited with the leaders and basically said to them, "Let's practice in depth Habits 4, 5, and 6: let's commit to go for win-win, to seek to understand each other first, and create synergistic solutions to chronic and acute problems." Leaders who practice these habits are highly effective because they become interdependent with other stakeholders in the success of the enterprise. That means, of course, that there is no ruling class or privileged party within the company because the principle of equity prevails. I reminded them of a scene in the film Gandhi when he was just beginning to get a vision and sense of mission about injustice. One day he was walking around his experimental community with a New York Times reporter who said, "I hear that you also participate in preparing the meals and cleaning the toilets. Is that part of the experiment?" "Yes, it's one way to learn that each man's labor is as important as another's." Gandhi then noticed that his wife was upset about something. He excused himself and joined his wife, who was wondering why she, too, must rake and cover the latrine. "Everyone takes their turn." "But it is the work of untouchables!" "In this place, there are no untouchables, and no work is beneath any of us." "I'm your wife." "All the more reason." "The others may follow you, but you forget I knew you when you were a boy."
"In this cause. That was the toughest part. He understands the arguments on both sides. even kill me-then they will have my dead body. break my bones. In another scene. We will not strike a blow. His logic resonates with them and stirs their consciences. I've always had this need for control. they will fine us. This "public victory" was a product of his "private victory" over self. not my obedience. and he becomes irate. as all fighting hurts. They may torture my body. and through our pain." "Not at all." Gandhi invites them to enter into a solemn vow not to fight. and he acts on the basis of his principles. As he's shoving her out the door. kill no one. 5. we will attack no one. And it will hurt. Whatever they do to us. Many give up their lives. but we will receive them. but my friends. "I must get back to that reporter. Employees are suppliers of their talents and labors. business is all about the relationships between suppliers and customers. To the assemblage he said." This reaction hits Gandhi's hot button. he throws his wife out of the house. but they cannot take away our self-respect if we do not give it to them." And she says. But we cannot lose." At that point. not to provoke it. He's self-aware and sensitive to his conscience. He then says. "And I must rake and cover the latrine. too. we will make them see their injustice." Gandhi gave up control. I am asking you to fight against their anger. They know he understands them." Gandhi then comes to his senses and takes responsibility for his anger. "To give up control. we see Gandhi put Habits 4. and in graphic language he describes exactly what they're feeling. Every person is a supplier of his or her talents. Gandhi. and 6 in action. And you will do it with joy or not do it at all. Win-Win Relationships Ultimately. "What are you doing? Have you no shame? I am your wife. They will imprison us. that usually means war. "What was the hardest part of the whole process?" He said. I too am prepared to die. they will seize our possessions. she turns and says. filled with win-lose thinking. and they. thinks win-win. and so he gains great influence with them. Three British officials are also present. I once met with a CEO whose company had won the Malcolm Baldrige Award. That was tough for him as well because he was human. up in arms. Gandhi was no longer being controlled by his own need to control. The best companies invest heavily to establish and maintain win-win relationships with internal and external suppliers. Physically. there is no cause for which I am prepared to kill. I asked him. then. And when win-lose is pitted against win-lose. It's the principle. But he subordinated himself to principles.
."It's not me. He swallows his pride and apologizes in such deep sincerity that it transforms them both. Only one man. are filled with win-lose thinking. There are thousands of angry Indian people.
but it just won't happen unless everyone wins along the way. but unless the internal customers. "Ultimately we have to listen to the customer and define quality in terms that are meaningful to them. with both natural and logical consequences. mutual understanding and commitment regarding five things: desired results. we're very anxious to see it done right. feel that they are partners—that there's a win in it for them—we won't have a quality culture to produce the quality products and services for external customers. When they opened the door." The Win-Win Agreement™ The Win-Win Agreement is the heart of employee empowerment. We'd like to meet with some of your key staff people. they gave me a good answer: "If we don't have empathy and win-win partnerships with our people." "And what happens if you profess to listen to customers but don't show empathy or achieve a win-win synergy with employees?" Again. they entered the manager's office. they saw 150 Marriott people there to serve them. That level of commitment to the relationship blew their minds. When I met recently with the executives from a major communications company. use discernment more than quantitative measurement. the small staff of the Nonprofit Association told the Marriott manager. The Win-Win Agreement is a clear. "We need to make this a successful three-day conference. I asked them. We may talk the language of service quality. The external customer may define and demand quality.I once spoke to a group of people who represented about 200 nonprofit companies. resources. "How do you define quality?" They gave me a good answer. they will never produce quality consistently for the customer. In setting up the conference. And make sure the performance agreement is reinforced by structure and systems. An important consequence of the Win-Win Performance Agreement is that every person in the organization can answer six questions:
• • • • •
Why am I here? What are my objectives? How am I doing? Where do I go for help? and What's in it for me?
Involve people in setting the standards and when evaluating performance. accountability. our employees. guidelines." When the eight people from the Nonprofit Association showed up at the Marriott for the meeting. The hotel had received two Quality Awards.
. Allow people to judge themselves after they receive feedback from stakeholders-all the people they interface with. and consequences. The conference was held at a Marriott Hotel in Colorado Springs. The receptionist told them that the meeting would be held in a different room.
but the paradigm is one of individual success around competition. 2. 4. we'll all make more money. contribution.Rewards should deal with four basic human needs: 1. what we can do. "Now. but also that the orders and magnitudes of all stars and spheres."
. "True North" principles not only inside the character and competence of individuals but also inside the structure and systems of organizations. They tell people: "If we'll all pull together and work together. responsibility. but then watering another flower (individual achievement). are so bound together. competitive. and to build trust in the culture. piecemeal. nay the heavens themselves. Consequently. Trustworthiness is made up of our character. I often observe executives telling one flower (the team) to grow." Then. They are thinking win-lose. social and emotional (recognition and relationships). In organizations. and our competence. Centuries ago. and legacy). Often. who's going to win the trip to Bermuda?" A win-lose compensation system will beat out win-win rhetoric any day. at the end of the pep talk. of independent realities. freedom. even if you're the CEO. interdependent entities where everything is related to everything else. you have to do as Gandhi did and just swallow your pride. you must make deposits into the "Emotional Bank Account" of the other person and win back their trust. And we'll like our jobs more and like each other more. when we're working in whole. We simply can't afford to think in terms of parts. Often in trying to get cooperation. But if you have a set of changeless. physical and financial (benefits and money). We try to establish a value around cooperation.
In a win-win relationship. that nothing in any part thereof. we promote people. and styles focused on competition. On the wall is a travel poster. they pull a curtain. the scientist Copernicus wrote: "By long and frequent observations and by following a set of fixed principles. and apologize. influence. you don't always get your way. could be moved from its place without producing confusion in all parts of the universe as a whole. 3. systems. And everything is dynamic because the environment is constantly changing. Both are absolutely necessary. we're dealing with an interdependent ecosystem. people are not thinking ecologically. partners must prove themselves trustworthy. structures. interdependent teams-where the strength of one compensates for the deficiency of another. mental (learning and growth opportunities). Why? Because you value the relationship. latitude. and spiritual (expanded stewardship. Trust is the cement of win-win partnerships. what we are. then you can build a high-trust culture composed of complementary. They are not thinking win-win. quick fix. I have discovered not only that the earth moves. If the relationship is damaged.
teacher. He is also the author of several acclaimed books. organizational consultant. family expert. including The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. and co-chairman of Franklin Covey Co. Dr.Everything is so related to everything else that the moment we start to influence one element of it. Significant advancements in solving the challenges and problems we face come primarily from thinking and acting interdependently. Covey is an internationally respected leadership authority. Stephen R. From Executive Excellence Magazine
. we impact everything else. We must deal with the interrelated nature of reality.