We’re currently on habit four of seven in our 7 Habits of Highly Effective People blog series!

If this is the first time you have heard about this series we’re sharing, the aim is to provide a reminder of Covey’s ever-valuable habits, with a personal leadership twist. Each blog gives you insight into each habit and provides tools to help you develop these highly effective behaviours.

Collect all seven habits crib sheets (links at end of this post) for a complete guide to developing effective personal leadership through the lense of Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. The habit we’re honing in on this week is, a personal favourite of mine, Think win-win.

What is Habit Three?

Think win-win

Let’s define it

Google defines ‘win-win’ as a situation in which each party benefits in some way.

What does it mean?

This habit is about working in collaboration with others and not competitively. It’s about getting the most out of every relationship you have; it is where one plus one equals three, because the value gained from sharing ideas, thinking collaboratively and finding the ‘win-win’ is so significant.

Developing this habit involves consistently thinking of others; considering their values and ensuring their thoughts and feelings are at the forefront of your mind. In doing this, you can ensure that your behaviour is appropriate given the time and situation and you can work with that person without unhealthy conflict or upset. But it’s not just about being empathic; it requires confidence, courage and openness as well.

Why is it important?

In order to get anywhere in the world, we need to work with people, co-operate and collaborate. In doing this, we can help ourselves, help others and encourage others to help themselves! It’s a lot more challenging to achieve than a win-lose situation, but so much more rewarding and fruitful.

Develop this habit: Practical tools

For me, developing this habit is all about feedback. Feedback on ideas, approaches, behaviour, anything that can help us achieve better solutions, conclusions and relationships. In giving feedback we need to be empathic and courageous, saying what needs to be said with the other person’s thoughts and feelings in mind.

Giving feedback effectively helps us to develop better relationships, whilst improving our abilities to demonstrate emotional intelligence. It’s about thinking ‘how can I help this person’ but also, ‘how can this person help me?’ If we can start to show some of these tendencies in our organisations we can really start to form highly effective teams and a highly collaborative environment.

Remember, for you to win, someone does not have to lose.

I hope there are some useful things in here for you to take away and have a think about. Look out for the next in our ‘seven habits’ series, ‘Seek first to understand then to be understood’.

Catch up on the other posts in this series:

Habit One: Be Proactive
Habit Two: Begin with the end in mind
Habit Three: Put first things first