How to find authentic WIN-WIN partners

An interesting chap called Mike (not his true name) came to visit today. We discussed many aspects of life and business and who knows we may one day be business partners.

As a reminder – before becoming a business partner with anyone, we want to have a healthy scepticism and so try to ascertain how much of the PANDAS personality a person has.

A healthy scepticism of people and their motives is, I believe, very healthy especially when strangers want to talk with you about business. One question I asked Mike is why he wanted to engage with me in a business capacity. After all, I am totally crazy and allegedly very eccentric according to society’s rules.

In one of Mike’s answers, he described me as authentic and one of the rare people in business who truly believes in WIN-WIN scenarios. This is not the first time I have heard someone make this statement about me.

If you are unfamiliar with WIN-WIN scenarios, it is a scenario where your customer wins just as much as you in any business engagement. In addition to business, developing WIN-WIN scenarios can apply to any aspect of life such as the household division of chores, where to go on a family holiday, and who gets to use the latest game console.

The more WIN-WIN situations you can create in your life the faster you will progress.  When people see and understand their WIN from your negotiation, they will want to do more deals with you and some will tell their friends about you who will also want to do deals with you.  By the word deal, I mean any transaction which involves the other person’s time, connections, finance or resources.

One sad aspect of WIN-WIN in business, is how surprising many talk about WIN-WIN scenarios but fail to adhere to the principles. Here are some examples from scenarios from my life where WIN-WIN scenarios were impossible.

N0 WIN-WIN in employee relationships

Loser, WIN-WIN, success
Image Credit: Lenore Edman

An inherited employee wants to be paid £15 per hour for data entry because his mum earns £15 per hour. When asked what value he can bring to the job when the going rate is an average rate for data entry is £9 per hour at the time of writing, he states he can provide “leadership.”  He believes that because his mother earns £15 per hour at a totally different job, he should also earn the same amount.

There is no WIN-WIN or fair scenario here.

No WIN-WIN in business partnership

handshake, success, business
Image Credit: Flazingo

A business owner wants 80 per cent of a start-up business for promoting their website. He has an established business which he will use to help promote their business.  He claims this is WIN-WIN.

Either the start-up wasn’t interested or if a start-up was interested, they eventually folded because they were doing the lion’s share of the work. There was no WIN-WIN here although the business owner claims there was.

In fact, the scenario is a LOSE-LOSE and eventually the business owner lost his entire business. It was LOSE for the start-up because the start-up never got going with him. It was a LOSE for the business owner because he never got their original work in his portfolio.

No WIN-WIN in equity split

WIN-WIN, property, business
Image Credit: Dirty Jerzian

Equity splits in start-ups is often a contentious issue and needs to be done correctly at the beginning.

Often the business will end up with several people leaving or having their stake in the company minimised or acrimoniously bought out. Creating a fair WIN-WIN situation in business start-ups is difficult for a variety of reasons such as un-kept work promises due to circumstantial changes.

A 50-50 split with one person doing all the work and the other person just putting up the seed capital.

I won’t go into all the reasons why equity splits do not promote WIN-WIN in this article but do read the links below on how to create equity split WIN-WIN scenarios.

How to spot an authentic WIN-WIN character

Chris Okazaki at JTFoxx Reunion
Image Credit: Ben Chai

Trying to identify whether someone is an authentic WIN-WIN believer or just someone who just pays lip service to WIN-WIN as a negotiation tool is a difficult task. It is a little like a sudoku puzzle. You need to work it out from a variety of patterns. Here a few:

  1. Do they talk more about the cost-benefits for you or more about themselves?
  2. Can you speak to other people who have felt that the person you are dealing with is authentic?
  3. How many people feel the person is fair to deal with and why (ie what have the people providing the accolades received from the person?)
  4. Do they spread un-verified warnings about other people?
  5. How do they engage with people in social media?  Do they use their knowledge to promote other people’s posts and build on that person’s post? Do they use that person’s posts to promote their own skills, websites, products and services? Do they make sarcastic remarks about someone when they disagree with a person’s post?
  6. When situations have gone wrong due to a misjudgement or mistake on their part, (as some situations do with all of us) – what have they done to remedy the situation. The answer will tell you just how much they believe in WIN-WIN.   Verify their answer.
  7. Do they make up scenarios to support their arguments?  You know they are making things up when their sentences start with “I’ve seen many…..”   “Many people have told me….”
  8. How do they treat other people such as waiters, cleaners, and other people society may have deemed to not have much social status?

Any of the above will give you an early warning indicator of the type of person you are dealing with.  You will not be able to detect their personality with one or two posts or sentences but over time you will see a pattern.

A person with a WIN-WIN personality is constantly looking at how to build another person whether that be in business, in personal life or on social media for example in a Twitter tweet or a Facebook forum post.

Okay, that’s all I have to say on the subject tonight – its 1:42 am at the moment. If you enjoyed this overview article, please give us a comment below and share it with your friends.

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