Win Win Communication

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 »  Articles Overview  »  Miscellaneous  »  Win Win Communication

Win Win Communication

By Gio Valenti | Published  10/15/2006 | Miscellaneous | Recommendation:
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Quicklink: http://www.proz.com/doc/988
Author:
Gio Valenti
United States
Chinese to English translator
 
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What is the difference between the sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea? Answer: The Sea of Galilee is vibrant with life and it takes and then gives back in a continuous cycle of life. The Dead Sea on the other hand only takes and never gives and is therefore “dead” and only claims algae and bacteria for its inhabitants. This analogy can also paints a vivid picture of our central self if we choose to communicate like the Dead Sea (lose-lose) or like the Sea of Galilee (win-win).

Using Win-Win communication styles improve our overall quality of life and relationships. There are several mindsets we can train ourselves to reach win-win outcomes. We can improve our communication styles by taking a win win approach when we encounter conflicts. This will require commitment to seeking an “attitude where your number one priority is love, respect, and that everyone win (http://www.wendyhil.com).”

MAIN POINT:
Often we forget that there are win-win outcomes because we are taught that we must compete, crush the enemy, make our point, etc and “although lose-lose problem solving is so discouraging that it is hard to imagine how anyone could willingly use it (Looking Out Looking In, Page 394 ).” The simple fact is that win-win does take some commitment and a lot of objectivity.
The text (see sources) brings out on page 397-400 that we should: identify the problem and unmet needs, make a date, describe your problem and needs, consider your partner's point of view, negotiate a solution, and finally follow up on the solution.
Identify the problem: We need to be pragmatic from the beginning and ask ourselves if we are wrong, if the issue is more important to the offer party,or if the pay-off is worth the costs (Looking Out Looking In; Page 10.3). We must objectively look at the problem and see if we have any ownership or responsibility to the other party to accommodate their demands. We must enter the problem realizing it was out feelings that were hurt or that we think we have been wronged (often the other party might not even be aware that they have communicated something in the wrong way).
Make a date. It is often best not to attack the situation right away but to gather your feelings and present it in a non combative way and when both parties are in the right mind to address the problem.
Describe your problem and needs. Presentation is everything and it is at this stage that we must also remember to be objective and choose our words carefully. Saying “when (something happened)....., it may me fell....” is a lot different than saying, “You did it!” It is important to use the behavior, thought, feeling, intention format to gain clarification and reasonably describe the situation instead of instantly assigning blame and hurt.
Consider your partner's point of view: We must be willing to listen emphatically to the other side if we want to be treated with the same respect. Seeking first to understand and then be understood is a key principle that we can apply at this stage. As Wendy Hill mentions, “allow your co-communicator to have their "say" first. Let them have a sense of winning... and resist your human urge to be right, look good, or teach a lesson.
Negotiate a solution. “Be patient. Problem solve with an open mind. Think in terms of possibilities. Be persistent. Do not stop until both of you have won. Insist that your boundaries and needs be met. Help your co-communicator meet his or her needs and boundaries (Wendy Hill). “
Follow up on the solution.
SUB POINT OR SUPPORT MATERIAL:
Wendy Hill also gives some valuable pointers (http://www.wendyhil.com):
Begin your communication by stating your highest intention and ask if your listener has the same intention.
Be clear on what you want. Take responsibility for your own happiness and well being. Be prepared to take a stand for yourself. Expect that this may be difficult and might bring about some big changes in your life.
Express all you communicate in a positive light. Mention the benefits of cooperation.
Allow your co-communicator to have their "say" first. Let them have a sense of winning.
Do not disagree when your co-communicator is having their "say." Just listen.
Active listen during and after they have had their "say." Repeat to them the essence of what they have said. Ask if your perception is correct.
Be aware of good timing. Be patient. Know you will have your "say" when the time is right. All you have done up to this point will help prepare your co-communicator to be open to new possibilities. You are in the process of "enrolling" them to speak to you in a win-win manner.

-CONCLUSION-
By approaching a situation with a win-win attitude, we can become flourishing seas of communication and not dead seas of conflict if we are committed to investing in objectivity and fairness. To succeed in win-win communications, we must follow each step: identify the problem and unmet needs, make a date, describe your problem and needs, consider your partner's point of view, negotiate a solution, and finally follow up on the solution. Our most fundamental needs are that of warmth, clothing and sustenance but once those are meet, our health and happiness also depends strongly on how we communicate with one another and applying win-win attitudes and communication skills to life everyday can make us much more full of life. It takes more effort to become winners, but the rewards far outweigh our initial investment if we can convince ourselves into enrolling in happiness.

SOURCES:
Looking Out Looking In (Eleventh Edition) by Ronald B. Adler, Russel F Proctor II, Neil Towne published by Thomson Wadsworth (2005), Pages 373-400
http://www.flc.org/central/gifts_at_work/s014.htm
http://www.wendyhill.com/cta/html/the_secrets_of_win-win_communi.html
GNF - Data Dead Sea

DISCLAIMER: I by no means have been able to apply these strategies all the time, still trying hard to though so please bear with me if I did not use these principles in my dialouge with you. This is not to say we should not disagree with people either, we should to provoke discussion and not be hurt or feel attacked just because someone does disagree. I myself like it when people disagree with me and try to disarm my defense mechanisms and relook at the problem to find the most reasonable or even acceptable alternative.


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