Lead Your Life

Leadership, Awareness, and Growth

Stress Kills Win / Win June 21, 2011

Stress kills the win/ win. 

And yet, a win/win is almost always available.  However, it requires awareness, creativity, expansive thought beyond the current paradigm, and selflessness.  It requires the ability to look at a situation like a rubic’s cube… dimensional, complex, and yet solvable.  Win / Win builds relationships, insulates trust, & creates opportunity for all. 

An unbiding commitment to authentic win/win is the nirvana of long-term, prosperous partnerships between teams, supplier / customers, and co-workers.  It isn’t about me.  It isn’t about you.  It is about us coming together & creating something profoundly better & more than we could each visualize on our own.  Win / Win changes the success trajectory.  And best of all, creates a deep connection between people. 

And yet, most of us lapse into a state of stress when we smell potential conflict.  Instead of seeing the conflict as an opportunity to change the game, we see it as divvying up a defined pie.  More simply, we see it as win/ lose which is in essence conceding that there isn’t a solution that creates something amazing for everyone.  And so, we have to fight for our share.  Watch our backs.  Protect our interests.  AKA: fight or flight.  Stress.

And inevitably, the cycle begins.  We experience stress, and we lose our critical thinking skills to solve for greater good.  We lose touch with our intuition & creative minds.  We disengage from the person or team across the table; sacrificing an opportunity to capitalize on their brilliance & to invest in a genuine, compassionate relationship with them. 

This all results in a conversation based on constraints & limited thinking by people who are living in their reptilian minds.  Which is a BUT & VERSUS conversation versus a collaboration.  Enter more stress.  Heightened heart rate, red face, emotions we can’t “control.”  More stress = greater decline in thinking.  And around and around we spiral downward until we slam on the bottom of sea; literally bottom feeding on all possible options.

So what’s the point?  Stress kills win/win & yet, every great, sustainable solution & relationship demands win/win.  Stress exists because of the way we think about something.  We have the intelligence to change our thoughts & change our perspective.  And thus, we can consciously opt in or opt out of stress.  And with that power, why opt in?  

How do you change your thoughts?  When you feel stress arising, take 2 calming breaths and ask yourself, “How can I move this situation to a place of win/win?”  Or, “What is the crown jewel result that makes all of us yell Eureka & what’s the next step to take on the path to the jewel?”  Or, “How can I lead this conversation from where it is now to a place of optimism & compassion?”  The list is endless, but the choice to take this path is singular.  You are either leading with greatness and awareness or not.

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