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Creating Win/Win Situations


Create Win/Win situations whenever possible for everyone involved. Win/Win means solutions or agreements are mutually beneficial and satisfying. A Win/Win solution results in all parties feeling good about the decision and feels committed to the action plan. One requirement of Win/Win success is a high level of trust. Without trust, the level of commitment is low and so is the chance of success.

Character is the foundation of Win/Win, having the character traits of integrity, maturity, and abundance mentality (there is enough for everyone).

Win/Win agreements should outline ultra-specific objectives that include:

  • Desired results – when and what is to be done. Goals should be a stretch, yet achievable.

  • Guidelines – parameters in which results are to be accomplished

  • Resources – human, financial, technical, or organizational support that is available

  • Accountability – performance standards and evaluation times

  • Consequences – what will happen because of the evaluation? What recourse is available for extraordinary circumstances? Do not punish anyone for circumstances out of their control or you risk losing their trust.

Contract negotiations are an ideal time to discuss win-win scenarios. Discuss possibilities with managers, employees, and union officials periodically and informally for ideas. Start with the thought, “what is good for our organization?” and ask yourself how you might motivate your employees to achieve that objective. When both parties stand to gain from the same objective, you are far more likely to achieve it.


Contract negotiations generally take place every two to four years, so be sure to keep track of items you want negotiated between these times. Keep a little notepad of items within your agreement that has caused you problems or were unclear. If things changed operationally (new machines, new technology, new equipment, etc.) there may be things within your agreement that don’t apply anymore. It is something you probably want to discuss about deleting in the next negotiations. Likewise, changes often require an addendum of some kind.

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