Is it possible for two people of opposing views to both have positive outcomes? Well, yes and no.
Winning and losing is important to keep track of in sports, but in relationships it can be the beginning of the end if you are keeping score.
I found a simple correlation this week: Disagreements are mathematical! When I am tutoring kids in math, I try to get them to get and understand ALL the facts before they draw a conclusion. How can you get the right answer if you don’t have all the facts or you don’t understand them? It is impossible…just like it is in relationships. Jumping to conclusions is dangerous because it is like jumping off a cliff in the dark. You may be destroying a relationship if you proceed.
Our Principal gave a good analogy recently in a training session. He said when you have someone that is in disagreement with you, you bring either water or gasoline to the table. If you throw gasoline on the situation it becomes volatile and can spin out of control quickly. If you bring water (stay calm), you can extinguish the flame and seek to understand the other person.
If you want Win-Win outcomes, do the following things:
- Stay calm.
- Truly listen to the other person rather than forming your argument in your head while they are still speaking.
- Make sure you have ALL the facts and UNDERSTAND them.
- Don’t assume you know someone’s motives. Ask them and seek to understand.
- Avoid the words “Always” and “Never” when describing someone’s behavior. Most of the time it is simply untrue and used to drive a point rather than be truthful.
We have all had situations where we were 1,000% sure that we were right only to find out later that we either misunderstood the situation or we did not have all the facts…and WE were wrong. Humble pie is awful hard to swallow because it is filled with pride, and swallowing your pride never goes down easy.
There is an exception to seeking a Win-Win outcome: If you are arguing with a fool, walk away. You will never win the argument because they don’t care about the facts or the truth and they have had more experience than you will ever have, so let it go and let them learn the hard way. Their mindset is: “Don’t confuse me with the facts!” You won’t change their mind. Arguing with a fool is foolish. Don’t be the fool.
There is power in forgiveness, so forgive freely. Remember that love covers a multitude of sins, so love completely.
“Justice is giving someone what they deserve. Mercy is not giving them what they deserve, and grace is giving them what they don’t deserve.” Robert Morris.
Give others the mercy and grace that you yourself so desperately need. That results in a Win-Win most of the time. Shalom!