Each Halloween night, my two older sisters and I would come home, dump our candy on the living room floor and sort out what we didn’t like and then begin to trade. I’d trade up my Fireballs to Shel and Dawn and score a few extra Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. A win-win.
If only life were so easy.
Nowadays, we face conflicts with coworkers or clients. We have to make it work with our spouse despite the inevitable differences of opinion. Over the holidays, family conflicts are almost unavoidable.
So, how do you find a win-win when there just isn’t one? Here’s how.
Ask the question that if, hypothetically, there was a win-win, what would it be? Sure, there’s not one… I know. But what if? What if in some strange parallel universe there was a way? A way to create a scenario where both you and the other party would be happy or at least amenable to a solution, what would it be? Ask the question and don’t allow yourself to shoot it down the response.
When you ask this question you begin to see small glimmers of a solution where none existed prior.
Asking this question opens a space in your mind and all you have to do is allow your thoughts to expand into this space. You’ll subconsciously begin to see small opportunities for a solution.
Here’s a little exercise to prove that your brain finds what you’re looking for.
Look around the room that you’re sitting in just for a few seconds. Done? Now, look around the room again, this time scanning for all of the things that are red. Did you notice the red items more when you were looking for them? You find what you’re looking for, you just have to be looking for something, otherwise it will blend into the surroundings.
If you’re looking for a solution, you’ll find it. If you’re looking for someone to blame, you’ll find that too.
You must first accept responsibility for solving the problem even if it’s not your fault. Accepting responsibility creates a sense of control over your life rather than hopelessness. This is the difference between the person who get things done vs the person who blames bad luck, their boss or their parents for their standing in life.
- Accept fault.
- Ask yourself what the win-win is.
- Allow the solution appear.