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The Secrets of Win-Win Communication

In order to achieve win-win communication results, you must first “enroll” yourself to do it. This means you must be willing to act upon the highest in yourself, set aside any “attitudes” that may undermine positive results, and resist your human urge to be right, look good, or teach a lesson.

A fter reading this list you may think win-win communication is unrealistic for you or too difficult. If so, consider the possibility of examining your beliefs and attitudes about yourself, others, and the nature of reality. You may find some attitudes you want to change. Win-win communication requires for most of us a major adjustment in attitude. It is not easy, but will be one of the most rewarding efforts you will ever make in your own behalf.

The following are attitudes and skills designed to address difficult people and situations. Try them in a situation you think is a “lost cause.” At least 70% of “lost causes” can be turned around by using these skills. After rehearsing them in your mind, try them at your next opportunity. I did. I was amazed! Now I find it’s the best and only way to approach all my relationships.

  1. Come from a win-win attitude where your number one priority is love, respect, and that everyone win.
  2. 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.
  3. Begin your communication by stating your highest intention and ask if your listener has the same intention.
  4. If this is a personal relationship you might acknowledge your discomfort to your co-communicator. Let them know if this is difficult for you.
  5. Express all you communicate in a positive light. Mention the benefits of cooperation.
  6. Allow your co-communicator to have their “say” first. Let them have a sense of winning.
  7. Do not disagree when your co-communicator is having their “say.” Just listen.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Repeat as many times as is necessary your highest intentions for the both of you until you see they “get it.” If they still want to communicate in a win-lose manner ask them what their intention is. For example, say, “I want both of us to win here. What do you want?” Wait for their answer. If they avoid answering, ask them again until they do. If their answer indicates that they also want both of you to win, you have succeeded in “enrolling” them. If not, this may be one of the 30% of “lost cause” cases that won’t work immediately. For win-win communication to work, both parties must be “enrolled.”
  11. State what you want. Be specific. State your boundaries. Be willing to enforce them.
  12. Now begins the problem solving stage. 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.
  13. Conclude by repeating what you both have agreed upon. Ask that both of you acknowledge the agreement.


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